The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Joy's of the Children's Digest; Part 3

As promised, here's the continuation of MAGICIAN OF OZ's review of this wonderful Children's Digest serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ and Evelyn Copelman's illustrations

Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to lament the missing February, 1954 issue of Children's Digest.

When we left Dorothy in part 1 (January 1954), she was taking a nap while The Tin Man constructed a raft to cross the mighty river (The Munchkin River?) just past the Great Forest where they found The Cowardly Lion.

In part 2, Dorothy and her new friends come across a field of strange, magical flowers and find themselves at their mercy. Soon, The Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects come to the rescue.

I would have liked to see how Evelyn Copelman portrayed the Deadly Poppy Field and The Queen of the Field Mice. I've always had a soft spot for the Queen and her subjects. They had proven their worth in saving The Cowardly Lion from the Deadly Poppy Field despite their fear of the big cat.

It would have been nice to see The Queen of the Field Mice in the movie, but that argument is best saved for another day.

From there, Dorothy and her party travel to Emerald City and meet the Guardian of the Gates where they had a nice meal and rest.
How would Ms. Copelman have handled this? I'll never know unless I find that issue.

I would also love to see how she portrayed "Oz, the Great and Terrible!" during Dorothy's visit to see him. And what of those green glasses?

So much for laments... MAGICIAN OF OZ offically declares, on to part 3 of the Children's Digest serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.

The cover of this issue; March 1954, features Casey Jones, King of the Railroad and various other stories. No mention is made of OZ 'till you look at the Table of Contents.



The Part 3 title page gives us an update on the progress of the story to date.



Part 3 starts out with the title of: Dorothy Meets The Wicked Witch and features a great view of The Tin Man's tuneup. Done in blue and black with tools and workers busy at their task, this image by Evelyn Copelman once more portrays The Tin Man as Baum had envisioned him. It has an industrial feel to it and fits right into the overall theme that Copelman is trying to convey.




As we turn the page, we get our first look at the Wicked Witch of the West and in this drawing, Copelman gives us the sense of her evilness, including the one eye. Why the movie fails to bring this important element to the screen is beyond me. It certainly would have made her even more evil than she already was portrayed. There is a hint of green, keeping with the movie theme of green witches. I likes the part where her eye is as "powerful as a telescope." Being an astronomer, I'd love to know a bit more about the optics of her ocularity... Hee hee..



Turning the pages once more, we find The Scarecrow having been reassembled with fresh straw and once more, looking very much like the Ray Bolger characterization. I've tried to address this odd departure from the stylized Baum vision in my last post, so no need to return to that thought.



Another turn of the page and we see The Wizard of OZ in his balloon as he explains to Dorothy how he came to be in this Wonderful Land of OZ. I like the hat...



Finally, as we reach the end of part 3, Dorothy and her friends are awaiting "The Great and Terrible Humbug" and his solution to Dorothy's problem. No OZ images here but the publishers have include a wonderful one-page story called "How Does the Sun make a Rainbow?". This is a very nice touch from an editorial staff who was thinking very much of the children who read this publication. Since this is the original story of OZ, we don't yet get to see another one of my favorite characters, Polychrome, The Daughter of the Rainbow. Perhaps she'll show up in later issues?

As one who teaches Weather & Climate, I can appreciate this from a very personal perspective.



In MAGICIAN OF OZ's next installment, we come to the conclusion of the serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.

Following that final chapter, MAGICIAN OF OZ moves on to another review of another Oz book found at Goodwill.

'Till then...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Joy's of the Children's Digest; Part 1

The other day, I found a most unusual item at the local auction I occassionaly attend. It was a stack of Children's Digest from 1952-54 with many good issues. One particular issue was a January 1953 edition with a wonderful cover illustration.



As one who loves OZ and all it represents, seeing this brought a great joy to my heart and drove away all tensions and stress which had invaded my Mojo.

I won't pretend to know everything there is to know about previous illustrations by William Wallace Denslow (who by the way WAS born on my birthday of May 5 and has his middle name as my last name), and John R. Neill, as well as Evelyn Copelman, whose illustrations are featured in this particular children's magazine.

If you want a more detailed analysis from people far more knowing than I, check out Jarad Davis' blog; The Royal Blog of Oz
His insight is particularly good and his recent work with podcasts show much promise in bringing Oz into a new realm.
Another very good site for loads of info about Oz illustrations is the Daily Ozmapolitan

For all your daily OZ needs, it's the Daily Ozmapolitan... Hmmm, that sounded like a commercial.

Anyway, I'm no expert. I just know what I like and I like OZ in any form I can find it.

This particular magazine has a very nice cover featuring the 5 main characters of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This illustration is done by Gyo Fujikawa, who is listed in Wikipedia as a prolific illustrator of children's books.
Wikipedia describes her style as such: "Her paintings of children are recognizable for round happy faces, rosy cheeks and simple dot eyes." Looking at the cover of this 1954 magazine, one can clearly see her style represented in Dorothy. She depicts the classic characters of Oz in a very traditional manner in keeping with the original descriptions found in Baum's tale. The Emerald City is shown as a castle-like way, also as Baum might have envisioned it. Oddly enough, Dorothy is not wearing the Silver Slippers, but red shoes. Perhaps this is in response to the influence of the movie. This effect does show up in the inner story, which is illustrated by Evelyn Copelman, a well-known and respected Oz illustrator.
I almost wish Fujikawa had been the main illustrator for the rest of the story, as it were. I have no problem with Copelman's work as she has proven her worth time and again. I just believe that Fujikawa's vision would have served Oz well in this particular setting.

Moving on to the title page, we discover that this is a serialized, 4-part printing, with parts 2-4 appearing in consecutive issues.



This title page appears in all 4 issues with updates on the progress of the story appearing in following issues. Looking at the bottom of the page reveals the copyright provenance of this adaptation.
Now we see the influence of the movie as The Scarecrow is represented by Copelman as looking very much like Ray Bolger. Turns out his real name was Raymond Wallace Bulcao. Once again, another coincidence with his middle name being my last name.

Is this your doing Princess Ozma? If so, MAGICIAN OF OZ thanks you warmly.

Copelman is briefly mentioned in Wikipedia during Denslow's discussion but has no page of her own. Seems like a project for some Ozophile who appreciates her work.

The first page begins the story and carries the title "Dorothy's Strange Journey." Copelman's depiction of the tornado and Dorothy's house gives us the impression of the bleak, stark landscape of the Kansas prairie. The colors are very earth-tone and drab, much like Baum's description of turn-of-the-century Kansas.



The next two pages continue the bleak and drab colors of Kansas and Dorothy appears much as we would expect from Baum's description... Toto too!





Moving on, Dorothy now finds herself in Oz and the theme of green pops up, giving us a sense that she is no longer in the drab, bleak world of the Outside.



In the next two pages, the movie's influence become quite pronounced as Copelman combines visions of the crepuscular rays seen in the B/W segment of the Kansas skies with the cornfield and wooden fence segment of Dorothy's introduction to The Scarecrow.



As we continue on to the following two pages, once more The Scarecrow is shown nearly identical to Ray Bolger's characterization in the movie. The Tin Man seems to be less like Jack Haley's character and more like Baum's description.



In these final two pages of part one of this four part series, we see all three characters of Oz who join Dorothy on her journey to The Emerald City. Once more, the influence of the movie shows up as The Scarecrow remains more like Ray Bolger while The Cowardly Lion resembles Baum's original vision, as well as The Tin Man.



For reasons not understood by myself, Evelyn Copelman chose to emulate the movie's characterization of The Scarecrow while adhering to Baum's ideals regarding Dorothy, Toto, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion. Perhaps in those days, The Scarecrow was a far more loved character than the rest? Perhaps Copelman just liked him more than the others? I know not...

Another interesting point is the magazine itself. The editors make a note in the inner cover of point out the following:

"Children's Digest is printed on what is known as 'eye-ease' tinted paper. This light green paper is easier on the eyes than white or any other tinted paper"

The color now is faded and the paper takes on a more brown tint now, due primarily to age. It is an interesting note to how publishers approached children's publications back then.

In my next posting, we move on to part three. Why, you may ask? Well, when I recieved the gift of these issues, part two was missing. You can well imagine my joy of discovery then being diminished by the agony of the missing issue. Oh well...

I was hoping part two might include the story of the Queen of the Field Mice. I always feel like she get's the raw end of the deal in the movie, which fails to display her influence on Dorothy's journey. Fortunatley in MAGICIAN OF OZ, the Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects get their due and proper acknowledgements.

It is, after all, her party that the young magician, Jamie Diggs runs into while entering OZ.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Revenge of the Serendipity!

I found myself at the auction this evening after classes with thoughts of yesterday on my mind.

My experiment had yielded odd, unexpected results and I was caught off guard. Nonetheless, "the learning goes on." This is what I told myself as I sat on the table top of a local auction, immersed in the Song of the Colonel.

I was strangely reminded off what Jamie Diggs had said about the Colonel and his singing voice. This auction barn is similar to the Umbra Auction Barn where the Diggs Family plus One learned the joys of friendship, well earned rewards and the Ruebin Samich.

Such is the tale of Volume 2: SHADOW DEMON OF OZ.

Anyway, so there I sat and an elderly lady approached me. Her name was Betty and like so many at the auction, I knew her but not really. It was the same in return.

Betty always carries a chocolate-colored Chihuahua named Hershey (Go figure). He always has a different hand-knitted sweater on each week. I can see it now... A little dog-house with a little closet full of little hangers. Each holds a hand-knitted sweater and all color-coordinated with little booties in a little shoe rack underneath.

Uh... pardon me, I got off track there for a moment.

So Betty's carrying a box and no dog. "Where's Hershey?" I asked her and she told Hershey was home sick.
"You like children's books, don't you?" she inquired and set the box before me. I thanked her and accepted the box.

Betty likes hand-sewn antique quilts and anything with McCoy marked on the bottom and I know this. She knows I like anything Abraham Lincoln, Halley's Comet or OZ. As I said, at an auction, people know each other but not really.

I sat there for a while longer, facinated with the Portable Colonel above me.

What's a Portable Colonel, you may ask yourself?

For those not fluent in the venacular of the peasantry, as it were, the Colonel is the man who sells at the auction. He calls out bids on the remains of people's lives, such as they are. His voice sings out as people scramble to purchase the stuff and nonsense we all crave.

This particular Colonel sits on a raised platform with a clerk by his side. She records the winning bids as the auction commences. This platform however, was set on wheels and moved about from table to table.

As I said, he was the Portable Colonel.

After a time, I checked my 21st century pocket watch and noticed it was nearly an hour and I wasn't really interested in what was up tonight. I had looked through everything earlier before the Portable Colonel started singing and hadn't seen a thing which peeked my curiosity, let alone the box of books before me. How I missed it, I don't know.

I packed up and went out to my car and was bedazzled by the sight before me. I placed the box on the trunk lid and watched in subdued awe as the evening twilight deepened into vivid hues of orange, reds and blues. Even a hint of green, which ain't easy to see, I assure you. And not a cloud in the sky.

As I admired the view, I chose to take this time to look through the books in the gift box and saw some old American Geographical Society Program Books from the old series that I remember as a kid. Another pile revealed about a dozen issues of Children's Digest from the early 50's. I didn't remember these from my childhood but the dates of 1953-54 placed them before my time.

I leafed through the top issue and picked up the next volume as the evening sky deepened its magenta hues in preparation for the approach of night.

Looking down at my hand, I saw something which took my breath away...




To say I was dumbstruck, speechless at the irony of the moment would be an understatement.
Those who know me know that to leave me speechless is to accomplish something nearly beyond comprehension.

Often have I employed the Serendipity Effect to great success with only a rare, occassional failure. Only once in a Blue Moon does it reach back to wreck havoc on my Mojo and seek revenge.

Now was that time and I am humbled by Serendipity and the practical jokes of Princess Ozma.
I'm certain somehow she's in on this. It's her style, I can assure you.

So, for the next few postings, I wanna share some of this issue and the two(2) which followed. The artwork is intriguing and quite charming in its own 50's sort of way.

If anyone can offer insight into this particular publication, I welcome their input and analysis.

Ozfully yours:

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Twizard of OZ has been rendered powerless!

I recently attempted an experiment on Twitter.com to push the boundaries of Net culture and technology. Despite assurances from the folks at Twitter.com, I was only able to tweet about 1/4 of the movie before they shut me down.
I had been in contact with them and now I feel as though Twitter.com had mislead me by assuring me that the total number of tweets would not exceed their limits.


It would seem I was in error and will certainly be more careful in the future. Perhaps I misunderstood their communications.
No experiment is a failure and I will learn from this and try again in the future.
I apologize for not being able to complete my project and offer my sincere gratitude for those of you who had faith in me and tried to experience The Twizard of OZ firsthand.

Oh well, science moves forward, painfully slow but forward nonetheless..

Long Live OZ!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

The Twizard of OZ!

In the last 3 years, Twitter has grown exponentially and developed into an engrained component of the human Net culture. It has, as such evolved and adjusted as it has grown. It now represents a totally new phenomenom in social networking, especially given its immediacy and real-time aspect.

It can be argued that The Wizard of Oz is an American cultural icon known by nearly anyone alive today. Ask 10,000 people across the country and a handful (literally) will have never heard of Dorothy, Toto, and the Wizard of Oz. As a result, this iconic film was chosen as a commonality among Twitter users in order to test a hypothesis regarding Twitters influence on culture.

On Wednesday, March 25, 2009; on or about 3pm (EDT), MAGICIANOFOZ will present The Twizard of Oz live on Twitter.com. In short, the plan is to tweet the movie, line by line, in real time.

The goal of this study is to observe and correlate the experience against participation, word-of-mouth advertising by users, the Serendipity Factor, time-of-observation, the viseral experience itself (how people translate the written word into mental images) and other aspects yet to be determined.

To date, nothing of this nature or this broad a scope has ever been attempted before, so the outcome is yet to be observed. It should prove to be a valuable experience both for researchers such as MAGICIANOFOZ and the viewing Twitterers. Afterall, have you ever tried to visualize the movie while reading the script? What images do you conjur up and how do you translate them into your own personal experience? This research project seeks to answer some of those very questions.

MAGICIANOFOZ invites all interested parties to participate by logging into Twitter.com and following MAGICIANOFOZ (twitter id) for the duration of this research project. In addition, MAGICIANOFOZ requests all watching this presentation to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and any other social-networking sites currently in use.

You may also follow me using the Twitter link on the left side of the page. Click on that and you'll be redirected to the Twitter.com homepage where you'll be prompted to either enter your twitter id (if you have one) or you can sign up for an account as well. Afterwards, do a search in the find people section on the top of the twitter page and search for me, magicianofoz and click on the follow button. You must follow me to recieve the messages I'll be sending out during the experiment.

A reminder that the experiment will commence today, Wednesday; March 25, 2009 at 3pm EDT.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox!!!

While we celebrate the solar holiday of Vernal Equinox, it is interesting to note that in the Land of OZ, they too celebrate the solar holidays. They do not, however, celebrate the other holidays we celebrate here on the Outside. No Fourth of July, no Halloween, no Thanksgiving... Only the holidays of the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, as well as the Summer and Winter Solstice.



In fact, the Vernal Equinox is the biggest holiday in OZ. For the MAGICIAN OF OZ though, the Summer Solstice serves as the most important holiday ever in his life. How, you may ask?

For that answer, as well as the answers to the many questions surrounding his adventure in the strange and magical Land of OZ, you'll just have to wait for the upcoming release of MAGICIAN OF OZ, due out on June 21st, the Summer Solstice!

Till then, you'll just have to be content with Twitter and the Wizard...

Ozfully yours;

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Twitter and the Wizard

Recently, I discovered how technology can reach up and bite one in the ankles, so to speak.

Growing up, I was a child of the traditional book and all that goes with that. When information was required, I would look it up in the encyclopedia. A whole business used to exist where people would come by your house and sell you wonderful sets of these encyclopedia and you would show them off to your friends.

Long gone are those days...

Nowadays, you click onto the Internet machine and voila!, information as far as the eye can read. Most of it is quite accurate but not always. Hence was the case when I went to look up some info. I trusted a single source and now my ankles have lovely little bites marks all over them from the experience.

Now I know better...

Despite my recent experience with the Net critters, I'm about to embark on a rather bold experiment involving OZ and Twitter, a social-networking site on the Internet machine. What this experiment is, I cannot say. At least not right at this moment. That would, afterall, take all the mystery out of life.

In fact, the very nature of the mystery is part of what I'm going for during this experiment.

While working for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, I was schooled in the Serendipity Effect by a former Director of Education; Mr. David Cassady. His mentorship allowed me to explore very unorthodox methods for delivering educational and/or artistic content. My adaptation of "War of the Worlds" performed by youth volunteers inside Spacequest Planetarium is a prime example of this. Those few who witnessed it recall it fondly to this day, ten years later. Behold the Serendipity Effect.

Now comes the time when I will employ the Serendipity Effect once more. To what effect, I have no idea. That's the beauty of the experiment. If you are reading this and want to be a part of the fun, you merely sign up for a Twitter account, (Twitter.com if you don't already have one), and search for me, magicianofoz (that's my Twitter id; go figure!). Once you've found my bio, just click the follow link and prepare to be amazed.

I will provide a more detailed description just prior to the experiment at the appropriate websites. This experiment may produce quite the buzz or it may go bust, who knows??? Time will tell.

Expect it within the week.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why I was chosen by Princess Ozma

The other day, I noticed that Spring was fast approaching and decided to invert our birdbath so it would retain rainwater for the birds and their Spring bath.
This morning, after a gentle night rain, the birdbath was full and robins were singing at its edge as they bathed. I'm sure they probably needed it after a rough Winter.
I went out to inspect it and found myself gazing deeply into the waters. Suddenly, the angelic face of Princess Ozma appeared and bid me a good morning. I was somewhat startled and I'm sure she was quite amused at my surprised reation. I'm used to her appearing in mirrors when she wants to contact me and I wasn't expecting her to show up in the avian tub.
After a brief conversation in which she inquired about my progress in fulfilling her Royal Command, she asked me a question which I had not expected.
"Why have YOU chosen to honor my command and write about my new Royal Magician?"
Afterall, I was not bound to her command since I was not officially a subject of her kingdom, merely a visitor.
I tried to explain to her that when a one hundred plus year old Princess who looks like a twelve year old girl commands one to do her bidding, it's kinda hard to say no, especially when that girl is the Ruler of OZ.
This did get me to thinking however why I had chosen to write about her kingdom and her Royal Magician.
To this end, I'll take a few minutes here to explain my reasons for the journey I have undertaken in fulfilling the Royal Command of Princess Ozma, Ruler of OZ.

I was born on May 5, 1960 on the 41st anniversary of the passing of Lyman Frank Baum, the kind gentleman who wrote of the Land of Oz over a hundred years ago.
I grew up in a loving household where my parents read to me on a daily basis and taught me the joy of reading. Many a night I recall sitting in our front room as my mother would read from the many books of Oz and my father would act out some of the odd scenes pictured within.
It, of course, never occurred to me that I would someday find myself sitting in the Grand Courtyard of the Red Brick Palace of Glinda the Good listening to those same stories from the very people who lived them.
As I grew up, my love for reading never diminished and my parents support for my love of reading never waivered. In addition, I was fortunate enough to encounter a number of mentors who would shape my view of the world and how I would find my way in it.
In particular was Captain Kangaroo, otherwise known as Bob Keeshan. His unique program was instumental in shaping my mind towards the joy of learning. Another was Clyde Crashcup, an odd cartoon character who inspired me to become a scientist and educator. Despite what many pyschologists would have you believe, television did not rot my brain. In fact, my fondest memories of childhood were of Saturday mornings in front of the TV machine watching the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and eating Captain Crunch with Crunchberries cereal.
I find today's cartoons somewhat vulgar and not promoting the values I grew up with, but I'm getting off-track here.
Another mentor was a NASA scientist; Gene Shoemaker, who, by correspondence inspired me to be an astronomer. This was during the late 60's and early 70's when NASA was king of the hill, so to speak.
The most important mentor was my father, who inspired me to try everything and learn from those experiences. He got me involved in Toastmasters International and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Those two organizations were directly responsible for much of my success as a public speaker and educator.
Fast forward to the mid-80's and my love of reading is now manifested in the lives of my 5 children as I read countless books to them, including the 14 books of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.
During this time, I am also completing my college education in Physics and running a public observatory teaching children about the night sky. This time is where the seeds of working for children's issues began for me. Following my tenure at Indiana State University, I took a position as Planetarium Educator for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
By the way, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the finest children's museum anywhere in the world. If you've visited there, you'll certainly agree. If you haven't, please make the time to do so. You'll not be disappointed. Be sure to visit SpaceQuest Planetarium at the museum.
Anyway, during my time there, I made it a point to be a mentor to youth volunteers and thus found my calling. To impact the lives of children in a positive manner is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
It was during this period that I became involved with junior high school children in the inner city region of Indianapolis. One day, while engaged in testing some educational software about Geography for 6th graders, I encountered quite a number of children who could not read, literally. It's one thing to suggest that there are kids in America who cannot read. It's quite another to come face-to-face with them.
I found myself at the end of the day sitting in my car in the parking lot shaking with remorse and resolving to do something about what I had just witnessed.
I then spent the next year in various teachers lounges having lunch with teachers and trying to understand how they could allow a child to go through school without mastering the art of reading.
Although some teachers cared deeply about their students, many cared only for their paycheck and thought little of the impact their negligence and disregard for the future of the next generation caused. This was reinforced by a school administration hamstrung by budget concerns and state-mandated test scores.
As a result, today's child has lost the art of reading. No longer do children sit down to read a book, to linger within the world of fiction and fantasy. Nowadays, kids are glued to the computer screen and read in snippets. In fact, with the advent of text messages, most kids now understand a truncated language that would have Daniel Webster spinning in his grave.
Only in the last few years has the Harry Potter effect taken hold and inspired kids to pick up the traditional book and immersed themselves in another world.
Despite this momentary reawakening, most kids still reach for the cel phone and communicate with their thumbs. Most kids would have trouble taking the time to sit down with a good book and giving themselves over to the realm of fantasy. They prefer the instant gratification that comes with a world overflowing with technology.
The book has become a lost art and with that thought in mind, I chose to honor the command of Fairy Princess and Ruler of OZ, Ozma.
In writing about young Jamie Diggs, the great grandson on O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz, my most sincere desire is that children will pick up my book and rediscover the joy of reading.
If only a single child comes to understand and appreciate the joy of reading, then I have fulfilled Ozma's command.
When Princess Ozma asks me why I have chosen to write about OZ, I say this.
If, by writing about this wonderful land and all of its unique characters, I can inspire children and introduce them to the joy of reading, even if it be only a single child, I will have made an impact that reaches far beyond my own lifetime.
To this end, I have committed all my efforts towards creating an environment where kids will want to pick up that book and put aside that cel phone for a few moments. If I can serve as a mentor promoting Literacy to our youth, then I will have fulfilled Princess Ozma's Royal Command.

Par Ardua Ad Alta
Long Live OZ!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring is Approaching...

Soon, the Vernal Equinox will be upon us and before you know it, Morel Mushrooms will be popping up everywhere.



Like young Jamie Diggs, the great grandson of O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz, we all look forward to gathering those wonderful fungi.

Fortunately for us, we don't have to deal with the Leader of the Sycamores, who liberates the Morel or the Gnarled Scrub Oak, who casts a mean spell on the Morel Army.

MAGICIAN OF OZ tells the classic tale of good Versus Evil in a land we all know from our childhood. Lucky for the young magician that he has Dorothy Gale of Kansas on his side and she too casts a mean Spell of the Morels. Oddly enough though, it is the fist time she had ever cast a spell.

Once you've finished reading MAGICIAN OF OZ, I think you'll agree that she did a pretty good job of it.

Of course, there's the Great Mushroom Hunt, which yields the Diggs family so many Morels that some must go to auction, where they fetch a mighty fine price.
And what of those Morels they kept for themselves? Well, Amanda Diggs, who makes a mighty fine Potato Soup tries some in her recipe with amazing results. She calls it Hoosier-style Potato Soup.

Hmmm...

Long live OZ!!!


James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Old Corvair

In today's society, we take for granted the technology that surrounds us. From computers to automobiles, the Internet to telephones. All around, the world is a complex and complicated place to live.

In the Land of OZ, the world L. Frank Baum described in such vivid detail is lacking in the technology we couldn't live without. Water comes from a well and pumped by hand. There are no weapons and no need for any. The hand-written letter is still alive and quite an art form. All cooking is done by wood-fired stoves and milk is gathered fresh every day by hand, so to speak.

The Diggs family, now living in the Land of the Hoosiers, find themselves living a somewhat tech-free life as well. They do not own a television and Jamie Diggs is no worse off for it. He finds his simple pleasures in the daily life of an Indiana farmhouse. His mother, Amanda Diggs grinds her own meat to make meatloaf and prepares her own Potato Soup from scratch.

Their only contact with technology at home is the old Corvair, a lovely small automobile that serves the Diggs family admirably.



James Diggs loves his old Corvair and keeps it running as best he can, preferring it over newer, more expensive vehicles. Of course, he does make a living building Hovercraft in the Big City nearby. However, he does not own one, though he takes great pride in his work building something that can actually save lives.

Overall, the Diggs family lives a simple, pleasurable life with few concerns and many joys.

We should be as lucky.

Long live OZ!!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Sign from Princess Ozma...

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No!!!

It's Comet Lulin!



Sent as a a message from Princess Ozma and the Land of OZ to all who look up, it proclaims her faith in the children of the world. It also proclaims her strong desire that the children of the world seek out MAGICIAN OF OZ and read the story of her new Royal Magician and his struggles against an old foe of the Tinman, Nick Chopper.

How do we know it was sent by Ozma? Who else would send a green comet from the Emerald City to grace our wonderful skies?

Princess Ozma has found her newest magician, Jamie Diggs, the great grandson of O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz.

In MAGICIAN OF OZ, the young magician discovers his magical heritage in an old humpback trunk from his parents basement. He soon finds himself learning the ways of magic from The Duke and Albert at the local magic club, which just happens to be part of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Before long, young Jamie Diggs meets Tree-In-The-Road, goes on a great hunt for Morel Mushrooms and soon finds himself face-to-face with the Council of Trees at the entrance to OZ.

Soon, MAGICIAN OF OZ will be available for kids everywhere, and even some adults who love OZ as much as those who live there.

Look for it this Spring at bookstores and online everywhere.

Long live OZ!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The BBC missed one...

I read today where the BBC listed the top 100 books (in their opinion) and I was pleasantly surprised to see a great many book listed which I have read. Out of the 100, I've read 62 of them over the years. I own 32 of them in my own personal library. Many were childrens' books, including Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh.

Others which apply to an older youth audience were The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Dune, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and of course, Harry Potter.

Below is the listing as it appeared on the BBC website.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini -
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Notice what's missing?

Yep, that's right. The Wizard of Oz.

I couldn't help but notice the preponderance of British authors (things that make you go hmmm...).
I believe this to be an error in judgment on the part of the BBC in their selection process. Perhaps it is a bias towards L. Frank Baum and his overall work? Perhaps the British just don't get him? Perhaps no one at the BBC has ever been to Oz?

I would suggest that if you read this, complain to the BBC about their selections. Or better yet, go out and read a book not on the list.

Hmmm... Perhaps an Oz book?

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma