My favorite moment in all of cinematic history? Ever? When Dorothy walks out of the gray Kansas house into the brilliant, technicolor world of OZ! Oooo...I just got goosebumps thinking about it. That little 30-60 second reel of film embodies what movies are all about-- escape. Why else in a downward economy does the box office not suffer? Because, for two whole hours, we're transported to Oz (or wherever). My daughter also loves the movie. Sometimes I wonder at her bravery. I have always loved this film, but the flying monkeys still give me the shivers. Well, since she loves the movie so much, and I've been trying to find a book I could read to her without pictures (it's time for her to start reading AND using her imagination), and I just happen to have my mom's old grade-school copy-- this became our maiden voyage into the mind-bolstering power of books. We're finding subtle differences between the movie and the book: namely that the slippers were silver, not ruby, and that the Tinman was once a real man who let his work go to his head (literally) and ended up chopping himself to bits and having to be re-fitted in tin. Like my mother, I try to do all the voices of the different characters-- my daughter died laughing when I did the trilling voice of Glenda, the Witch of the North. But, the real fun started last night when I did the helium-sounding voice of the Mouse Queen (think Karen from Will and Grace). As I read, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the dog's head pop up. She stared. I stopped reading. She relaxed. "Joe, watch the dog..." I read the line again. Her head sprang up. As I keep reading, she got down off the bed and climbed up in the chair with me and the kids, tilting her head back and forth. When she started batting at my mouth like, "Don't worry, Mom. Whatever's in there, I'll get it!" I had to stop. The whole family was rolling. It's times like this I can't help but be happy to have a family-- and kids who love to read.