Writer Wednesday- Jack Pumpkinhead

Writer Wednesday

It’s time for “Writer Wednesday” when I discuss another author and his or her book. For October’s posts, I will be discussing some seasonal classics.

The Wizard of Oz. The Ruby Slippers. The Yellow Brick Road. These are the images of a beloved story and yet many of the details in the 1939 movie version are different from Frank Baum’s original. For instance, did you know that the slippers in the book aren’t red? They’re actually silver.

Frank Baum wrote a series of books about Oz. The second in it is The Marvelous Land of Oz where Jack Pumpkinhead is introduced. Jack Pumpkinhead comes to life through a magical “powder of life”.

In cartoons from the early 20th century, a character is often portrayed made from wood and a pumpkinhead. He seems to perfectly match Baum’s “Jack Pumpkinhead” in appearance. What is the appeal of a character with a jack o’lantern head? I think it’s the delight of knowing that something commonplace, any field pumpkin, can be magically transformed into a new friend. Isn’t that how books are as well? A pile of paper and ink transforms into something that can transport, entertain and endear itself to its reader. With an inner glow, like a jack o’lantern, books can light the way.

My best to you all,

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