The Lizard of Oz
humorous fantasy for children (fourth grade and up) and up and for adults who share stories with them
This is a revised and expanded version of the underground classic, first published, to great reviews. in 1974.
An elementary school class sets out on a field trip to bring back enchantment to the world. They learn that you have to go under the world to stand under it and understand it. And there are many levels of understanding. They meet such characters as Mr. Shermin (who used to be a teacher until he decided to be a fish, and then he knew how to turn himself into a fish, which not many people, even teachers, know how to do), Humpty Dumpty (who fell for a little blue wallflower he fell for, Prince Frog (who would rather be a frog than a prince, because it's much less trouble), Sir Real (who has cereal instead of brains). Lewis Carroll, the Knights of the Merry-Go-Round Table, the Mothers of Fact (Miss Hap, Miss Take, and Miss Fortune), Mr. Plato, Daniel Boone, and Joan of Noah's Ark.
Imagine The Phantom Tollbooth crossing paths with a fifth grade class in The Magic School Bus.
The Lizard has captured the imaginations of a small but very enthusiastic cadre of fans. I would love bring it to a much wider audience. And it would be particularly good for it to appear in Australia, which is often informally referred to as "Oz".
Reviewers said of the first edition:
Library Journal -- "An intriguing and very entertaining little novel"
Booklist -- "a snappy hip fable"
Aspect -- "Carroll and Tolkien have a new companion"
Lancaster (PA) Independent Press -- "a work so saturated that the mind is both stoned with pleasure and alive with wonder"
Philadelphia Bulletin -- "A commentary on our times done delightfully"
Advocate -- "a gallery of figments of contemporary culture that
its place on the library shelf of memory along with the classic
If you are interested, I also have illustrations by Christin Couture from the original edition. Those illustrations are her property, but she would be delighted to see this book reissued in print. (FYI -- you can see other work of hers at her web site http://redtidebluefire.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org 212-533-2115).
I also have a children's play and a radio script based on this book, as well as an appendix (Food for Thought), which parents enjoy, indicating literary and mythical sources of characters and themes.
My published works include:
· The Name of Hero (historical novel, published by Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin)
· Ethiopia Through Russian Eyes (translation from the Russian, published by Red Sea Press)
· Saint Smith and Other Stories (novellas and stories)
· Echoes from the Attic (contemporary novel, co-authored with Ethel Kaiden)
· Now and Then and Other Tales from Ome" (children's stories),
plus four books about Internet business, published by Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Macmillan, Wiley, and Mighty Words.
Now a publisher of electronic books, I worked for Digital/Compaq for 19 years, most recently as "Internet Evangelist." I graduated from Yale, with a major in English, and earned an MA from the U. of Mass. at Amherst in Comparative Literature (French, Russian, and German). At Yale, I had creative writing courses with Robert Penn Warren and Joseph Heller.