Hannah picked up one of those free parenting magazines scattered around Baltimore about a month ago and inside, she found a quarter-page advertisement for a local dinner theater performing The Wizard of Oz. It was the silhouette of the witch that attracted her (a few of her favorite books are Room on the Broom and Winnie the Witch). I explained who all the other characters were and outlined a bit of the story, and for the next week, she constantly asked for the magazine with the picture of the "black witch" (I freaked out the first time she said that, but then I realized she was talking about the silhouette). I'm positive the movie will be too scary for her, but I thought the book might work, so I tried, unsuccessfully, to find it the next time we were at the library. A few days later, Neslin and Hannah came downstairs saying "Look what we found!" and holding a copy of The Great Illustrated Classics: The Wizard of Oz in their hands. It had been on our bookshelf the whole time; I'd tucked it up on the top shelf when I, very pregnant, pulled it out of a bag of hand-me-downs. At the time I thought Hannah would be much older before wanting to tackle a chapter book. We started reading it before bed that evening. We read during breakfast and lunch and before naptime and bedtime. We carried it with us most everywhere and Hannah read aloud to me from the back seat. In 3 days, we were turning the last page. The next day, we started over.
I had no idea that her attention span was there! Of course it helps that The Great Illustrated Classics have a picture on every page (black and white sketch, but it was enough for Hannah). When I get another free minute, I'll be scoping out the selection of other Great Illustrated Classics.
If you haven't read it, the book is nothing like the movie though it does have some scary parts that need to be ad libbed out (like when the tin man cut off the head of the scary yellow cat and when the witch tells her bees to go sting Dorothy and friends to death). It's definitely not tailored to the 2-1/2-year-old age group, but we made it work.