March 8, 2015

Favorite Quotes #8 - The Patchwork Girl of Oz

My son and I, when he was around 10 or so, read through the whole series of Oz books by L. Frank Baum.  There is so much more to the world he created than what is in the movie classic.  First off, the movie is based on just the first of the 14 books in his series.  And really, the movie is even not much like that first original book.  The Oz in the books is much less fantasy and, I think, more of a utopian vision by Baum.  My son and I had many long discussions about how the Oz world differs from our own.

There are lots and lots of characters that Dorothy encounters during her multi-volume journey through Oz.  Of course, I was most drawn to this character, the Patchwork Girl of Oz.  She has her own book, and even her own movie, produced in 1914 by Baum himself.

Her name is "Scraps".  She was made from an old quilt by the wife of a magician who had a powder that brought her to life.  She is more than a little bit floppy.  She is naive (her head is filled with cotton, after all) and comical and very energetic.  I have had this picture of her, one of the illustrations in the book, in my collection of refrigerator philosophy for quite a while now.  (She doesn't appear on my refrigerator quilt though, since I met her after I made that quilt.)

Scraps says of herself, ""Patches, patches, pick some pretty patches! Put the pretty patches in the patchwork quilt! Patches, patches, pick some pretty patches! I'm sewn and stuffed with cotton, they added yarn for hair, the one thing they forgot is a heart I do declare! But who needs a heart? Not me, I swear! From velvet to satin in blue or pink, and every fabric you could possibly think! Because when you're made of patches, life is giddy all day! So I'll be singing my song, and dancing along, on my happy little patchwork way! "

This crazy quilt looks a bit like Scraps herself and was made c. 1900, not too far from 1913 when the book was published.
more info about this quilt


  1. I consider t his book one of my very private books that no one else really knows about. You post bursts my bubble. Of course, I know it's not mine alone. Every summer as a kid, and now, we visit our lake house in Wisconsin and as a kid my mom would read aloud, one chapter at a time, the battered first edition copy that came with the house, of The Patchwork Girl of Oz. I wanted a square dog. I pretended my daschund was square. Thanks for reminding me. I am re-reading all of the Anne of Green Gables books. When done, I really should read the Oz's!

  2. What a lovely childhood memory! Sorry to have burst your bubble, though. ;-) I, too, have several cherished objects that I acquired when I moved into new places - a couple of lamps, a long black wool cape....

    For several years, my son loved any kind of book that came as a series. Reading through them in strict numerical order seemed to please him as much as the stories themselves. This one, I read with him, because I'd heard that the original book was so different from the movie and was curious. And then I got hooked, too. Baum's vision of Oz is really fascinating. There are many, many so-called children's books that are just as great for adults!