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Ironic Contradictions

I'm a long time reader - since way back when I was seven. That makes it over three quarters of my life that I will be a reader for. But it is worth it. When I'm not reading or wasting my time online on here or Goodreads I'll be off playing video games, studying teaching and messing around with friends and pop culture. Or reading some more.
The Marvelous Land of Oz - L. Frank Baum, David McKee
Before I discovered that there was a girl named Dorothy with a dog called Toto I discovered the land of Oz. I never understood as a child the rules of series. That you 'had' to read the previous books before reading the second or third books. This was due to my age at the time (things seem rather muddled as a 7 year old when you have a voracious appetite for reading) and the fact that I had the tendency to grab whatever was on my bookshelf.

As far as stepping into the world of Oz went, this was not the worst place I could have begun. Though it takes place after [b:The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|236093|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)|L. Frank Baum|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327894516s/236093.jpg|1993810] this book easily stands alone, albeit that there are references which one would not understand without knowledge of the predecessor novel. That aside, before I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz I had read this several times over, enjoying it very much.

The plot, in which our male protagonist Tip, travels through Oz with a bunch of magical creatures and finds his way through several adventures is an interesting one. It certainly kept me enthralled several times as a child. However I missed out on all the metaphors and symbolism that Baum put into his work. Perhaps later I shall re-read the first few Oz novels in order to see them from an adult perspective (as I need to re-read Alice in Wonderland, Watership Down, Peter Pan and The Wind in the Willows). There is one small issue I have with this book. To this day, however I still wonder what Baum was doing with the gender change in this book. As a child I thought it was strange. Now, I still think it was a strange idea to have gender changing in a novel for children. It must be symbolic in some sense or else some parents would have complained.

When all is said and done as a child I loved this book. I certainly have no problems with allowing children of 6 or 7 to read them. Often many parents and adults will raise a fuss and claim that such novels will provide children with the wrong impressions. However I've found through experience that children are much more conscious than we realise and understand far more than given credit for. Children's novels like these are what they should be reading in my view.