Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh MY!

Lyman Frank Baum
Lyman Frank Baum

May 15, 1856
Lyman Frank Baum was Born

How did you first learn about the story of a cowardly lion, a scarecrow without a brain and a tin man without a heart? If your answer is the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” you’d be right. But did you know there was a book before there was a movie?

Born on May 15, 1856, in Chittenango, New York (not in Kansas), Lyman Frank Baum wrote the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and created a story about the adventures of a girl from Kansas that has delighted kids and grownups for a century. That’s right, the book was published in 1900 and was enormously popular from the start. In fact, it was so popular that Baum quit his job as a journalist and wrote thirteen more books about the land of Oz. Do you know how old the movie is?

The film version of the book was made in 1939 with Judy Garland as Dorothy, the girl from Kansas who has a wild adventure along a yellow brick road. The story is still loved all over the world and has been translated into many languages. How many times have you seen the movie? Have you read the book?