Category Archives: Oz in Print

Oz in the News 12.7.17

Local music teacher to host launch event for new children’s book Randy L. Schmidt, a music teacher at Adkins Elementary School in Lantana, has written his first children’s book, “Becoming Judy Garland,” a biography he has dedicated to the students of Adkins Elementary. The book explores the early life and career of Garland — originally named Frances Gumm — as she went from vaudeville to movie stardom to the “role of a lifetime” in “The Wizard of Oz,” according to a news release. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” Schmidt said in a prepared statement. “The timeless appeal of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,’ so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” All Adkins students, their families and the community are invited to the upcoming book dedication and launch party, where Schmidt will read from his book and discuss his love of reading, research and writing. The event is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Adkins Library Learning Center. For more information about Schmidt and his books, click here.

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Oz in the News 11.6.17

New Children’s Book ‘Becoming Judy Garland’ Explores The Young Life Of ‘Miss Show Business’ On The Road To Oz Becoming Judy Garland (Tribal Clef Books; November 2017) is the new children’s book from bestselling author Randy L. Schmidt. Readers will discover how Frances Gumm, this “little girl with the BIG voice,” went from vaudeville to movie stardom and landed the role of a lifetime. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” said Schmidt, a longtime music educator. “The timeless appeal of The Wizard of Oz speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,” so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” A limited-edition hardcover book/CD set is available now through the author’s website. The CD features the audiobook, narrated by Grammy-nominated children’s musician Judy Pancoast, as well as rare recordings by the Gumm Sisters, two “lost” test recordings of Judy at age 12, and a live radio performance of “Over the Rainbow.” For more information or to order the limited-edition set, visit the bookstore at www.randylschmidt.com.

The Oz Index & Daily Ozmapolitan Contest: Enter to win Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow

The Daily Ozmapolitan & The Oz Index have teamed up with Oxford University Press to give away five (5) copies of the new book Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow. 

In Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow, author Walter Frisch traces the history of this song from its inception during the development of The Wizard of Oz‘s screenplay, to its various reinterpretations over the course of the twentieth century. Through analysis of the song’s music and lyrics, this Oxford Keynotes volume provides a close reading of the piece while examining the evolution of its meaning as it traversed widely varying cultural contexts. From its adoption as a jazz standard by generations of pianists, to its contribution to Judy Garland’s role as a gay icon, to its reemergence as a chart-topping recording by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, “Over the Rainbow” continues to engage audiences and performers alike in surprising ways. Featuring a companion website with audio and video supplements, this book leaves no path unexplored as it succeeds in capturing the extent of this song’s impact on the world.

To enter the contest go to The Oz Index and find three books that have the word “rainbow” in the title and email your answers to OzPinhead@frodelius.com Winners will be chosen randomly from correct responses.

Contest deadline is midnight EST on October 31, 2017

 

Oz in the News 9.11.17

‘Oz’-some birthday For his 36th birthday, J. Basil Dannebohm is bringing Oz to Kansas, and he doesn’t even need a tornado. The Salina resident and former member of the Kansas Legislature will be hosting a “Wizard of Oz” themed birthday reception today at his east Salina home, where he has invited a variety of people to celebrate what he called the diversity and humanity championed by the book and movie. “I take pride that all kinds of guests are welcome at this and at every other reception I host,” he said. “Rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, Republican, Democrat — at these gatherings, our differences are set aside and our humanity is celebrated.” Dannebohm sees “The Wizard of Oz” not only as a timeless fantasy adventure for children, but a timely story for adults — one that embraces inclusiveness, tolerance and compassion, attributes sorely lacking in today’s polarized social and political climate. “If Baum taught us anything from this work, it’s that separately brains, a heart and courage are powerful tools,” he said. “However, when used for the good of others on life’s journey, they become phenomenal building blocks of friendship and solidarity.”

Michael Morpurgo: ‘I had to turn into a dog and see the world in Toto’s way’  I know now, after decades of doing it, why I return time and again to the task of retelling the great tales, ancient and less ancient. It is a kind of recharging of a storymaker’s battery. Go back to the old masters, not to copy as an art student might copy a Rembrandt, but to rediscover the magic of a story that has stood the test of time, that is still read and loved, perhaps 2,000 years after it was written. Go back to a legend or a tale or a great popular classic that has been superseded by a film, or several films, so that the original story or poem has been all but forgotten.

Oz in the News 8.17.17

Headstone of Piqua-born ‘Oz’ author unveiled A memorial dedication and headstone unveiling of Piqua-born author of two books in the “Wizard of Oz” series was held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua today. Jack Snow penned two books telling the further adventures of Dorothy, the Wizard, the Scarecrow and other characters from the Land of Oz, who were first introduced by L. Frank Baum. The titles of Snow’s books were “The Shaggy Man of Oz” and “The Magical Mimics of Oz”, according to a release from the International Wizard of Oz Club. Snow was a 1925 graduate of Piqua High School and died in New York City on July 11, 1956. The headstone was supported by a grant from the International Wizard of Oz Club, which has more than 500 members worldwide.

Oz in the News 7.4.17

Puffin has radically redesigned the covers of classic children’s books using Pantone colors The project is the brainchild of graphic designer Danielle Calotta, who used a process of free association to come up with the color for each title. Some choices were obvious: green for Anne of Green Gables; black for Black Beauty; metallic gold for A Christmas Carol. Others titles were harder, like The Wizard of Oz, which is covered in a sunny yellow hue. “Some people don’t know that her [Dorothy’s] original shoes [in the book] were silver, but a lot of people know her ruby red shoes. Then there’s also Emerald City, but inevitably, we settled with the yellow brick road,” explains Calotta. The designer says her formulaic approach is just another way to think about book covers, and not meant to entirely replace illustrated versions. “This is a modern twist to children’s classics,” she explains. “I don’t know why they can’t both exist.”

Sh*t-Faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Leicester Square Theatre, London The choice of the Scarecrow – poor, brainless, loose-limbed Scarecrow – is a wise choice for the show’s alcohol-fuelled character. It helps that Alan McHale is a warm and engaging musical performer of course: while the audience may not be as tanked up as he is, they are on his side throughout, and he reciprocates their warmth towards him. Humour, of course, derives from those moments where McHale stumbles over his lines, or over his feet. Other comedic elements, from the glove puppet Toto to Nick House’s cross-dressing Wicked Witch, work better when distracting McHale from his attempts to stick to the script than they do in bringing their own humour. Whether this improvised version of The Wizard of Oz will be as strong with one of the company’s other cast members in the role of sole inebriate remains to be seen. McHale sets a high bar for them, to be sure: as a singer and dancer who succeeds in performing a number of dance moves while not spilling his pint of beer, this is a performer who can, quite literally, hold his drink.

Oz in the News 5.25.17

Brooklyn native creates new book series based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Gabriel Gale, who was born and raised in Bay Ridge, has immersed himself in the legend and legacy of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” series of books. Gale, whose pen name is derived from Oz heroine Dorothy Gale, has created the first volume of a planned three-novel prequel to the beloved Baum classic focused on the origin story of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Gale has worked on this project for 10 years and calls it “a culmination of a whole lot of passion, research and drive to get an Oz story that is 100 years in the making into this project.” It all started for Gale when he first discovered Baum’s book as a young boy. “I read the Oz books at the 73 Street Bay Ridge branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. I was fascinated from then on. After graduating from Columbia, I decided I wanted to create my own ‘Lord of the Rings’ type of work. And the Oz books returned to mind and I went back and researched them. I met with the family and I met with many of the world’s leading Oz experts, and I put all of that research into ‘Ages of Oz.’”