Final Thoughts: All Things Oz

“Everyone in the Emerald City is happy,” Baum tells us, “they can’t help it.” So be happy, have a safe journey, watch out for those winged monkeys, and for goodness’ sake, behave yourself.

Linda Sunshine, All Things Oz (Editor’s Note)

I recently finished reading a little square gift book called All Things Oz: The Wonder, Wit, and Wisdom of the Wizard of Oz. It is a compiled collection of art from the Oz books, memorabilia, and movies paired with quotes and stories from the Oz books as well as commentary and reviews about the books and movies from a variety of sources. The editor is Linda Sunshine, who has a number of such books to her name, and who worked closely with Willard Carroll, who adores Oz and collects Oz artifacts. The art in the book is largely from his collection.

I actually really enjoyed this book for the collection of art and was pleased to find several pieces and artists who were new to me and utterly charming. I love seeing how the characters and world are illustrated by different artists and in different styles and this book really gave a fun cross-section of those interpretations.

The quotes, reviews, and stories chosen to highlight were entertaining and I enjoyed some of the more unusual scenes from later books that Sunshine chose to highlight. She also spent time focusing on several major characters from the series with quotes about them, commentary on the meaning they convey to readers and have for fans, as well as art that depicts them in various styles. While there are characters who are wonderfully interesting and I would have loved to see highlighted like this that were not, her choices made sense given that most of her audience is largely more familiar with the 1939 movie or the first book than any of the later ones.

The book is cute and fun, although doesn’t have a lot of depth. That said, it’s a great little glimpse into the wide variety of art and objects that have been inspired by the stories in all of it’s various incarnations. I am glad that I read it and even more thrilled to have found some new favorite artists in it’s pages!

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