There’s No Place Like Holland to Celebrate the Legacy of L Frank Baum
My childhood existed in a post Chronicles of Narnia/pre-Harry Potter world. Too young for Tolkien, I found that my Goldilocks Zone lay in the beautiful books of L. Frank Baum. The adventures he'd take me through Oz and the wonderful friends I'd make along the way are still carried in my mind and my heart to this day. I seemed to be the only kid reading these books. Perhaps it was the oversaturation of the Judy Garland film. Or, maybe they didn't know that there were more adventures in his series (14 in total). Whatever the case, I really did fear that his stories would eventually be lost to time, found to be out of touch or archaic. That's why I'm chuffed to bits that Holland, Michigan is celebrating Baum and the world he brought to life in the Holland Oz Project.
L. Frank Baum summered on the shores of Holland, Michigan, and it is said that he conceived of Oz, of Dorothy, and of a magical Wizard on those very shores. Holland has transformed Centennial Park in to a celebration of Baum and his characters complete with sculptures, mosaics, and, of course, the yellow-brick road. The centerpiece is a 10 foot tall book made entirely of annuals.
120 years after the very first book in the series was released, Oz continues to entertain children of every age. Check them out through the Kalamazoo Public Library or start your own collection through a local Kalamazoo book store.