Ozpicious Occurance.

I haven't found a new Ozu book in ages and the other day, I found two at a buck a pop! One is a fairly intense novelization with few drawings that I'll showcase anon.

But the other is on hard cardstock with English & Japanese on each page. I can't say the translation is very good, they take a LOT of liberties with the original script, but I do like the illustrations. Just in case you can't read the English when you click on the pic (I really need a new scanner), I've typed it out for you. Those familiar with the story may notice a few glaring changes! (I'll add some sarcastic editorial comments in italics when needed.)

In the middle of the great Kansas plains, there lived a little girl Dorothy with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em who were farmers. “Be good while we’re out!” Uncle Henry and Aunt Em are off to do the shopping. Dorothy is staying at home with her dog Toto.
(Okay, send Uncle Henry and Aunt Em off to the Walmart. No need to have any of that chasing after Toto & storm cellar business.)
That day, a tremendous cyclone struck the plains and Dorothy’s house was swept up into the sky. The house landed in a country to the east that Dorothy had never seen before. The country was very beautiful with flowers blooming all around. “Welcome to the land of the Munchkins!”
(It may be the land of the Munchkins, but there are NO Munchkins anywhere around.)
The Wizard of the North was standing there. “I am the Wizard of the North. Thank you for squashing the evil Wizard of the East.” Dorothy looked an saw the evil Wizard of the East trapped under Dorothy’s home. Only a pair of silver colored shoes remained. “So this is not Kansas? What do I need to return to Kansas?”
(Even though まじょ translates to "Witch", apparently the Compass pointed sorcerors are referred to as Wizards! I blame Harry Potter.)
“I’d like to help you but Kansas is very far away and my magic won’t reach that far. But the Wizard of Oz is a great wizard and he may be able to help you. The Wizard of Oz lives in a beautiful city made of emeralds. You will surely be able to meet him if you follow this road made of yellow bricks.”
(This particular story was written to help kids learn English so the lack of adjectives is odd. To whit, "city made of emeralds", "road made of yellow bricks".)
The Wizard of the north gave Dorothy the silver shoes that the Wizard of the East had been wearing saying that they would certainly be of use some day. “Come Toto. We’re off. We’re going to the city of emeralds to ask the Wizard of Oz how to get back to Kansas.”
(At least they got the colour of the shoes right, silver not ruby-red.)
Dorothy and Toto followed the road made of yellow bricks and after a while, they came to a field of corn. There was a scarecrow standing in the field of corn. “Hi, where are you going?” Dorothy told her story to the scarecrow.
(Cornfield = field of corn.)
To this, the scarecrow said, “Well, well. Then please take me with you. My head is filled with straw and I want the Wizard of Oz to give me brains.” And so Dorothy and Toto continued along the road with the scarecrow when they heard a groaning sound from the forest.
A man made of tin was standing there with his axe in the air. The tin man says he is all out of oil and cannot move. So Dorothy oiled him and the tin man could now move. “A bad wizard has stolen my heart. So I want to get a heart from the Wizard of Oz.”
(I don't think his heart was actually stolen by a witch wizard, he was built without one in the first place.)
So the tin woodsman joined the group and the group walked deeper into the forest. Suddenly a lion came out of the forest. “Aaagh! It’s a lion!!” everyone was very astonished. “Aaagh.” It was now the lion who was screaming! I am a very cowardly lion.
(I really adore the look on the lion's face when it frightens itself.)
I become afraid at the slightest thing. I want to meet the Wizard of Oz to get courage from him.” And so the cowardly lion joined the group and they kept following the road made of bricks. “Aaagh, Karidahs are coming!” screamed the scarecrow. This was terrible just as the group was about to cross a bridge, a creature with the body of a bear and the head of a tiger came after them!
(Kalidahs/Karidahs, same diff. But you can't get a more literal illustration than this bear with a tiger head.)
(I love this creature so much, here's a close-up.)
“That’s it! Hey tin woodsman! Use your axe and cut down this bridge!” said the scarecrow. The woodsman raised his axe and cut the bridge right in half. Splash! The creature fell head first straight into the river. And so they all pooled their strengths and Dorothy and the group finally arrived in the great city made of emeralds.
(Scarecrow uses his straw-filled head and saves the day and they quickly make it to the city of emeralds.)
The city was beautiful with glistening emeralds everywhere. Dorothy and her friends immediately went to meet the great Wizard of Oz. The great Wizard of Oz was sitting on a throne but this wizard had only a large head.
(Oz is naught but a big purple lump of playdough with a face. Cool!)
I am the great Wizard of Oz. What do you want from me?” “I need your help, oh great Oz, to go back to Kansas.” said Dorothy. “Please give me brains!” said the scarecrow. “I want courage” said the lion. “Please give me a heart” said the tin woodsman.
I see. I will grant your wishes if you will defeat the evil Wizard of the West.” Said the great Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her friends did not know what to do. There was no way they could defeat such a fearful wizard. But Dorothy and her friends decided to support each other and to fight the Wizard of West.
“Huh? A guest?” The Wizard of the West who found out that Dorothy and here friends had arrived sent an army of 40 wolves. “Watch out! Dorothy!” The tin woodsman used his axe to defeat the wolves.
(This is by far the sexiest witch wizard of the West ever!)
(So sexy, here's a close-up!)
Next 40 crows started to attack them. “Help, Mr. Lion, help me!” cried the scarecrow. The cowardly lion only shook in fear. But the lion overcame his fear and roared out fiercely, “Roooar!” and with this, all the crows disappeared!
(The lion proves his gumption.)
The Wizard of the West was very angry and next sent for an army of bees! “He, he, he. Defy me and this is what happens!” At that moment, Dorothy’s silver shoes began to speak. “The Wizard of the West is weak against water!” and with this, water appeared in front of Dorothy.
(This is where I call Shenanigans! The shoes become the Deus Ex Machina and tell Dorothy what to do and even provide the water! Convenient!)
“Take this water!” “Ghaaa!!” When Dorothy splashed the wizard with the water, the wizard disappeared. Dorothy and her friends immediately returned to the city of emeralds and went to meet the Wizard of Oz. They found a small old man sitting there.
(After melting the sexy witch wizard, they meet up with a little old man with a cool patriotic hat.)
The Wizard of Oz was really an ordinary person who had been blown here on a hot air balloon. “This man is a terrible liar. What are you going to do about your promise to give me courage. The lion is very angry. Just then, the beautiful Wizard of the South appeared.
(Before the lion can eat him, the new young & sexy witch wizard of the South appears in a negligee.)
The Wizard of the South said, “You helped each other to defeat the horrible Wizard of the West. You already have courage, wisdom and a heart.” The group finally understood. Wisdom, courage and a kind heart are not things you can get from others.
(She, not the actual Wiz tells them about their virtues. I can live with that.)
The Wizard of the South said, “Dorothy, I have put a spell on those silver shoes so that three steps will take you back to Kansas. Go. Your Uncle and Aunt are waiting!” Dorothy said goodbye to the lion scarecrow and the tin woodsman and left to return to Kansas with Toto.
(She couldn't have thought of that spell when they first met, could she?)
“One…two…three!!” Dorothy returned to the plains of Kansas in only three steps. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em were waiting for Dorothy when she returned. And this was the end of Dorothy’s adventure.
The end.
All in all, a cute version of the story and I am now using that sexy witch wizard as my Facebook avatar.

I'm finally getting around to reading a couple of the graphic novels I bought in Toronto. The first one by Chavelle & Fernandez is quite good, though Dorothy was a tad too tomboyish for my taste. Could have used a better editor, I caught at least three glaring grammatical errors and c'mon, the past tense of "know" is not "new"!!
I've just started this Shanower & Young version and it is simply gorgeous!

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