May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, L. Frank Baum

Born on this day in 1856 in Chittenango, New York, Baum grew up to be a writer.

You have probably heard of his most famous book
The Wizard of Oz – but he also wrote 13 sequels (later Oz books), 9 other fantasy novels, 33 other novels, 4 “lost” novels (I guess we don't know if they are Oz books, fantasy novels, or “other” novels, since they got lost somehow), 82 short stories, over 200 poems, many scripts for plays, and other miscellaneous writings.


He wrote under several pseudonyms, or pen names, for some of his non-Oz books. These
are some of Baum's other names: Edith Van Dyne, Laura Bancroft, Floyd Akers, Suzanne Metcalf, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, and Captain Hugh Fitzgerald. (Wow again!)

His hits were, as you might suspect, the Oz books and some plays he wrote based on them. People loved his imaginary world, the Wonderful Land of Oz.

Some people credit Baum with imaginative predictions of the television, laptop computers, wireless telephones, and advertising on clothing.

Celebrate Baum
and Oz!
  • Watch the movie.
  • Create toilet-paper-roll characters. Here are instructions for making Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch. Maybe you can make a Wizard, too?
  • Glinda, the good witch, seemed to travel by way of bubble. In her honor, blow some bubbles today! (Hopefully you can do it outdoors!)

  • Make a rainbow cake decorated with Skittles. How about adding a yellow brick road made out of frosting?
  • Munch like a Munchkin. Make an entire meal with everything very tiny. Check out the hors d'oeuvres section of the frozen foods for some yummy little treats. Little tiny hamburgers, maybe, or pizza bites? Trader Joe's makes great mini-tacos. Eat some baby carrots and canned baby corn, and how about grape tomatoes (which are even smaller than cherry tomatoes)? Miniature Oreos for dessert? (Be sure to sing O-R-E-O, like the guards outside of the Wicked Witch's castle!)
Make up your own imaginary land! Draw it or write about it.

Trivia Quiz: Who Said It?

From the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, who said each of the following lines:
1. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

2. I'm melting! I'm melting!

3. Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

4. Come back tomorrow!

5. Find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!

6. Follow the yellow brick road. (Lots of people said this, but who said it first?)

7. I'll get you, my pretty...and your little dog, too!

8. A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.

9. Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home!

10. Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking...don't they?

11. What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage!

12. Now I know I have a heart—because it's breaking!

13. Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

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