Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Wizard of Oz theme oriented gifts

"Santa Holding Christmas Gift" photo by Petr Kratochvil

Earlier this month we began this series covering the Gifts of Music, followed by DVDs and videos, with more choices in both categories to follow in the coming weeks leading up to the holiday season.

Today however, we turn our attention to theme oriented gift ideas – specifically covering items based on one of the most enduring pieces of children’s classic literature, L. Frank Baum’s, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The products, which appear below have been researched for quality as well as value, and are geared to provide the children and teens in your life with many hours of positive and fun-filled entertainment.

Best pricing options available at the time of this posting are provided below, but it is suggested that (when available) you cross-compare with your favorite online as well as stick and brick retailers.

You may wish to bookmark this page to enable further explorations of the highlighted links at your leisure.

As always, you are the best judge of what is appropriate for your child’s entertainment.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Most children and adults were introduced to The Wizard of Oz through the original Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1939 movie, which was based on the characters created by L. Frank Baum in his series of children’s books.

Begin your journey by taking a look at the original story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is available to read free online at RareOzBooks.com. The website also provides an excellent slide show of images from the original publication’s renderings by W.W. Denslow, as well as information about collecting and the valuation of first edition titles of these books.

The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

Issued in March of this year was a special 70th Anniversary Edition in single disc Blue-ray format from Warner Brothers Home Video, which offers superb visual and sound quality. It is truly a collector’s edition and priced at $10.00 through Amazon.com.

There are other editions to explore if Blu-ray does not work for your household.

A video preview of the Blu-ray edition is available by clicking on the following link to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB.)

The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic by John Fricke, Jonathan Shirshekan

If your family already has a video format of The Wizard of Oz, this Barnes and Noble exclusive, The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic by John Fricke and Jonathan Shirshekan is a must-have definitive source of all things Oz.

This handsome hardbound edition was recently reissued as a second printing because of its immense popularity and exposure at Oz festivals nationwide.

The 160 page book includes over 500 black and white stills as well as full color images with behind-the-scenes shots, an extra gatefold scene along with visuals of the film’s test costumes, artists’ sketches, posters and informational casting notes.

Author John Fricke at a recent book signing
John Fricke has authored four earlier books about Oz and its star, Judy Garland. Twice he has received an Emmy Award as co-producer /writer of Garland documentaries for the A & E Network and PBS-TV.

Jonathan Shirshekan is a preeminent Oz collector, researcher, and preservationist.

The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic is available through Barnes and Noble at a special online holiday price of $10.98.

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