The international Wizard of Oz convention 2010 – Oz: The Books

Rawle Graham

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and The International Wizard of Oz Club organised this national conference, 'Oz: The Books', at California State University's Fresno campus. Graham Rawle, invited as a keynote speaker, delivered a lecture on how he created his illustrated reinterpretation of L. Frank Baum's original 1900 classic tale. "In my books I’d never illustrated anyone else’s text before, but I was particularly drawn to The Wizard of Oz. It’s a wonderful story – a deceptively simple tale that has incredible psychological depth so it works on a number of levels. Dorothy’s journey is really about a personality that’s trying to become complete. At its core it holds an important life lesson: that the things we yearn for or the qualities we think we lack are already a part of us, but we invariably need to go on the journey to make this discovery. The original story is richly populated with strange and wonderful characters not featured in the classic 1939 film: the Dainty China people, ornament-size folk made from porcelain who are prone to breakages, and the Hammer Heads, armless fighters with extendable necks and hard, flat heads. These have rarely, if ever, been depicted before so it was a great opportunity to bring them to life, as well as reinterpreting the more familiar characters.There are extra scenes, as well as back story that reveals the origin of the Winged Monkeys, how the Tin Woodman came to be made of tin, and how the Emerald City only appears green because its inhabitants are made to wear green tinted spectacles. I’ve been faithful to the original text, but my own way of thinking inevitably comes through. In my version, Dorothy’s dog Toto is a push-along toy on wheels. It may seem like a glib decision, but it tells us something about Dorothy’s view of reality. And it’s funny, because in the book, he doesn’t really do anything. When Toto is ready to go to sleep, they just tip him over on his side.”
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2008
EventInternational Wizard of Oz Club Convention - The Books - Arne Nixon Center, Fresno, California, USA
Duration: 10 Nov 2008 → …


ConferenceInternational Wizard of Oz Club Convention - The Books
Period10/11/08 → …

Bibliographical note

Graham Rawle's The Wizard of Oz was winner of the 2009 Book of The Year at the British Book Design and Production Awards.


  • Baum
  • fairy tale
  • oz


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