Updated: Feb 14
Weeping lions. Flying monkeys. Unlikely friends. An incredible journey home. L. Frank Baum's beloved classic remains a fantastic read-aloud for kids of all ages!
You might say that children's stories are only meant for children. I'd say you are wrong. The best stories for children aren't merely for children. They are for us all. They leave us soaked in their wake. They rouse us from our deep sleep and challenge us to live life to the fullest. L. Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is a classic for a reason. Truth and beauty prevail throughout its pages.
Here are the top 3 quotes that left an impression on our family as we read L. Frank Baum's, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
Dorothy drops the mic early on in the story as she put into words what we all know to be true. Home. There is nothing like it.
We all long to be home. As Dorothy lands in Oz for the first time, there's no denying that it is unlike any other place on earth. This is a wonderful land. There are talking scarecrows and friendly munchkins here. Magic is real here. By the end of Dorothy's journey, she could have easily stayed.
Yet...home was calling. It's calling us as well. Every day, we are strangers in a strange land, .just like Dorothy. Being people of flesh and blood AND spirit, we realize that there truly is no place like home!
"We dare not harm this little girl," he said to them, "for she is protected by the Power of Good, and that is greater than the Power of Evil."
When Dorothy first arrives in the land of Oz, the Good Witch of the North gives her a kiss on the forehead to protect her from what is ahead. No one can harm Dorothy during her journey because of this kiss. The Wicked Witch of the West recognizes that Dorothy has been protected by the Power of Good and there is nothing she can do about it, except to enslave Dorothy and her friends.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that good and evil exist in a state of dualism. We picture God and Satan entangled in a battle that either side could win. This is not what we see unfold throughout the Scriptures, though. In the story God is writing, good dominates evil. Bad things happen in our current world and evil is ever-present, but the war has already been won! The Power of Good has always been greater than the Power of Evil!
"But how about my courage?" asked the Lion anxiously.
"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."
The Cowardly Lion shows courage throughout his adventure with Dorothy. Like the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, the Lion already has what he most desires. He simply doesn't see it in himself.
We live in a cruel and painful world. The journey is long and hard at times. Sometimes we need to be reminded that courage doesn't have to be extraordinary. Instead, we show courage like the Lion, facing the difficult moments head-on. George MacDonald says it best: "To try to be brave is to be brave".
This is only the beginning of the richness found in Oz. What are some of your family's favorite parts of this read-aloud? Let us know in the comments below!