Book of the Month - The Wizard of OZ, The Overlooked Classic
As literature has become a little saturated with stories of fanciful conflict, where wizards battle noseless villains in a brute force of magical explosions, children struggle to extract any tangible morality. However, the Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum in 1900, remains a fairytale story like no other and a beloved classic to many children. It centres on Dorothy Gale, a gentle protagonist, who embarks on a modest quest to return home, instead of an unachievable power fantasy to subdue feelings of inadequacy.
One of the most delightful aspects of Baum's novel, which makes it such a lasting children's book, is the elegant simplicity of his character’s motivations. As Dorothy journeys along a golden road, on her quest home, she meets a tin woodman in need of a heart, a scarecrow in need of a brain and a lion who desires courage.
Every child will doubt their own abilities at times, in this whimsical book they are given valuable lessons learnt via the characters on how to deal with life challenges. The shortcomings of our adventurers is not solved through conflict, instead, each learns that they hold the ability to change themselves, gained not by seeking enemies but creating friendships.
Of course, it's by no means full, it's still sweetened with the villainy of a wicked witch, flying monkey minions and charlatan inventor, sure to win any child's favour.