It's hard not to wonder what these guys were on, and to wish I had some. . .
I've loved these books since I was a child. The set I had then (all 14 books, thanks to my mom, an ardent bibliophile) did not have color illustrations, like the ones Jay gave me. I'm thrilled to have these beautiful books, but more than that, I feel so blessed to have a husband who would come up with such a thoughtful gift. He pays attention, my Jay. I love that about him.
I had a birthday a few days ago, and my amazing adorable husband gave me a leather-bound, gold-embossed set of the first four Oz books by L.Frank Baum. Everybody knows the movie; some people have read the book, but relatively few realize that the original author of the Oz adventures wrote no fewer than 14 books about the original fictional alternate reality. Baum was a creative genius and apparently quite a character--he peopled his universe with the most astonishing assortment of creatures, and came up with plotlines that would put Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs to shame. Yet Baum was writing for children, and he wrote with humor and affection and tolerance, even toward such villains as the Gnome King and those freakish Wheelers. Nevertheless, some of his creations (like the Wheelers) were quite scary to imagine, and even more so as illustrated by the brilliant and slightly deranged John R. Neill.