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The Hedgehog of Oz: 04/03/21

The Hedgehog of Oz

The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo is a middle grade adventure that pays homage to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1899). Marcel the hedgehog has been living in the Emerald City movie theater with a pair of hens as he figures out how to reunite with his beloved Dorothy.

Something goes wrong and Marcel ends up in a truck, whisked away from the Emerald City. He ends up in a box in the center of Mousekinland. Marcel sees his situation as being remarkably parallel to Dorothy from the movie (as he's never read the book). If Marcel can follow the lessons of the movie, he might be able to get back to the movie theater, or more importantly, his Dorothy.

Looking, though, at Marcel's story from Baum's books, we can see that the hedgehog isn't starting from Kansas. Instead, he is starting from The Emerald City of Oz (1910) and in his desire to find Dorothy, is facing the problem of The Lost Princess of Oz (1917). Yet, the path he has to take from Mousekinland, to the theater, to ultimately his original home with Dorothy, will take him through the motions of the first book.

As Marcel's adventure is inspired by the Oz books (and movie), his journey home can be mapped on the road narrative spectrum. Marcel like Baum's Dorothy is an orphan (FF) in that he's separated from his family and friends. His goal is to get home, at first meaning the movie theater, but ultimately meaning his home with Dorothy (66). His route is through the cornfield as represented both by the corn the mousekin are trying to collet, and later by the popcorn that helps Marcel find his way back to the city (FF). Thematically then, Marcel's recapitulation of Dorothy Gale's adventure is an orphan traveling to home via the cornfield (FF66FF).

Five stars

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