Monday, October 28, 2013

"I, Toto" by Willard Carroll (2013)

In this highly imaginative and creative book, author Willard Carroll gives voice to the iconic Toto of “Wizard of Oz” fame. The inspiration for this book seems to have come from a chance discovery on the site of the old kennels where Toto was housed and trained by Carl Spitz. The area was being demolished for the widening of Ventura Blvd. when Mr. Carroll came upon a metal box in the debris.

That box contained a scrapbook of the legendary Terrier, who was actually named Terry, and appeared in over 12 films opposite stars such as Shirley Temple and Spencer Tracey, Wallace Beery, Jack Benny, Frederic March, Ida Lupino and of course, Judy Garland, to name a few.

Cleverly taking publicity stills form the films in which Terry appeared, both before and after “The Wizard of Oz”, the author is able to trace the career path which led him to the role as Toto. And, in between, the author dons the persona of Terry and tells his story.

I picked this book up as an antidote to a heavy tome I was reading, and from which I needed a break. Books come in all forms, shapes and sizes. Though this book barely hits 100 pages, it will fill your heart. 

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