Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ARCHIVED REVIEW: American Fairy Tales (6/2/10)

American Fairy Tales
by L. Frank Baum

This is a really charming set of tales. L. Frank Baum, of course, wrote The Wizard of Oz, and he takes his odd humor, and wondrous ideas and creates a set of fairy tales. 

You meet a girl who discovers a box of robbers in her attic, a boy who captures Father Time, the King of the Polar Bears who looses his fur coat, a wax dummy who comes to life, townspeople who accidentally eat magic bon-bons that make them sing and dance, a plummer who is in love with a princess, and many more quirky characters. My favorite tale was "The Girl Who Owned a Bear," the story of a little girl who's father had ruined a book agent's business, so the book agent decides to give the daughter a book of horrible beasts that step off the page. But she is clever and thwarts him in the end.

Each of these stories has a lesson, or a moral, like "This story teaches us that true dignity and courage depend not upon outward appearance, but come rather from within; also that brag and bluster are poor weapons to carry into battle."

My favorite moral, however, is "As for the glass dog, the wizard set him barking again by means of his wizardness and put him outside his door. I suppose he is there yet, and am rather sorry, for I should like to consult the wizard about the moral to this story."

If you liked this, you will probably like:
The Wizard of Oz
The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson

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