In the Dark Ages before DVDs, YouTube, and streaming TVs, “The Wizard of Oz” was shown on TV around Christmas time every year for 30 years on CBS starting in 1959. I remember watching it once a year with my family from the time I was in first or second grade and it was a real treat. Yes, the flying monkeys didn’t help me sleep the first couple of times I saw them, but the rest of the story fascinated me. What it had to do with the Christmas season, I never figured out.
The 1939 movie was an amazing piece of work that featured the best of MGM’s directors, actors, and songwriters. They were working with the 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum as their guiding inspiration.
If you’d like to go back to the source material for the movie, you can get the book at the library or you can listen to it and read it at the same time by going to Lit2Go and clicking on the Introduction link, where you can listen to the story read by a professional reader.
The Lit2Go site has a great collection of public domain (as in out-of-copyright) books that have audio versions attached to them for download as an mp3 file to an iOS or Android device or reading on the web. The books are leveled from Kindergarten (Jack and Jill) to 12th grade (A History of Modern Mathematics, written in 1906), with lots of books at 4th grade (The Secret Garden), 5th grade (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865) and 6th grade levels (The Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1871).
If you’re in the mood for a classic book, take a look at Lit2Go. There are even some activities that go along with the books on the website. What a great way to catch up on some classics!