Friday, April 5, 2013

Guest Post: The Wizard of Oz

Another guest post I've been lax in putting up is this little gem from favorite blogger and novelist (shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in the mystery category, no less), Ariel S. Winter. He is always a joy to get an e-mail from and if you haven't read this, this or this, get to it!!! 

That said, have you guys seen Oz yet? We'll get there eventually, though I have to admit I've become CGI weary of late. Still, it has James Franco in it, so no matter. If you have a hankering for a bit of the Emerald City and don't want to do it in 3D, you can always turn back to the books. I never read the full novel when I was a girl, but I did have this edition, and I read it to pieces over and over again. So I was delighted to see these pictures again after so long. Welcome Ariel the Awesome, finder of wonderful things!

The Wizard of OZ
L. Frank Baum ~ Tom Sinnickson ~ Wonder Books, 1951

I've had this Wonder Books edition of The Wizard of Oz sitting on my desk for a year with plans to scan it. With the release of the movie Oz recently, I thought it was time to finally get it up online. I can't provide my usual level of scholarly detail, largely because not a whole lot of information popped up on illustrator Tom Sinnickson in my very basic searches.

He seems to have illustrated about ten juveniles, seven of which were for Wonder Books, and four of those were Raggedy Ann and Andy stories. I'm Learning to Share has a post with some of Sinnickson's magazine illustrations. The April 27, 1952 issue of The New York Times mentioned Sinnickson's The Wonder Book of Trains in a children's roundup that included two books illustrated by Leonard Weisgard, one of which was by Charlotte Zolotow, and the classic Little Golden Book The Seven Little Postman.

Of The Wonder Book of Trains, the Times said "it's not very original but it should reach a younger audience of train-fans than do most train books." It's hard to reconcile that dearth of information with these illustrations, which are so stunning, and in some instances strikingly original for a work that had already been visualized many times over by 1951, that I couldn't help breaking my self-imposed (as a Little Golden Books collector) rule to not pick up any Wonder Books. It makes me wonder why he didn't illustrate more fantastical children's books. Anyone with more info should chime in.

For Oz, the great and powerful, enjoy. I posted the whole book here.


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David L Rattigan said...

Beautiful. And wow - that new banner is stunning. (Apologies if it's not actually new; I usually read this site in Google Reader and haven't clicked through in a while.)

Leanne@VintageBooksfortheVeryYoung said...


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