Today is the final performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Inly School. Right now, the overture is playing and the curtain is going up on Inly’s annual winter musical. While selling apples and Bugles (perfectly shaped twisters or witch’s hats) before the show, I was delighted to see a number of little girls wearing blue and white gingham dresses and, of course, shiny red shoes. Although most of the kids and adults here today are probably familiar with the 1939 musical version of L. Frank Baum’s story, my guess is that many of them do not know the book on which it is based. In that spirit, here are a few fun facts about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and was the first of a 14-book series. In fact, Baum was working on the 15th book at the time of his death in 1919.
2. In the book, the ruby slippers are silver!
3. When Baum first began working on his book, it was called “The Emerald City.” His next working title was “From Kansas to Fairyland.” The third and final title was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is considered to be America’s first fairy tale.
To learn more about the creator of Oz, check out Kathleen Krull’s picture book biography – The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum.