The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz #1)
by L. Frank Baum, illustrated b W.W. Denslow
Join Dorothy Gale, Toto, and all of her friends as they explore the incredible land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is American’s most enduring fairy tale. From the moment Dorothy puts on the silver slippers until the moment she clicks her heals and returns home to Kansas you will be swept away and captivated by her extraordinary story.
Why this book?
I’ve loved The Wizard of Oz since I was a kid. I used to watch the movie every single day. I had a little toy picnic basket and a stuffed dog that I would carry in it. I wanted to be Dorothy because, seriously, who wouldn’t? I loved to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as a toddler and I begged my mom for ruby slippers. Yeah, I had good taste in shoes even then. When I was browsing through other classics list to choose what I wanted to read for The Classics Club I came across The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and I knew I had to read it. And I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I LOVED IT.
It’s obvious now that Baum wrote some great characters. Everyone knows who Dorothy and Toto are. We all know what the reference is when you put a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion together. While I loved the movie and still do, nothing can compare to the awesomeness that is this book. There’s so much more on the page. Their struggles with their lack of intelligence, compassion, and courage are so much more pronounced. The companionship is more sincere. There’s just a little something extra in the books versions of Baum’s characters that didn’t translate to screen. This is one of those classic children’s tales that I will cherish forever.
A Profound Message
If you’ve read this, did you ever feel that the main characters all had the means to be what they wanted the whole time? I felt like there was clear theme. For instance, Scarecrow talks the whole time about how he has no brains and isn’t smart enough for anything. Yet, there’s noticeable growth in his intelligence throughout their journey. When they start, he trips into holes because he doesn’t know he should step around them. By the end, he’s coming up with great ideas about how to get them all out of fixes. The same goes for the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. Even Oz tells them that they don’t really need a brain or a heart or courage. He points it out subtly, but it’s there. That was probably my favorite part of the whole book. We all have the ability to be whatever we want to be. We only need to try.
More, more, and more!
There’s so much more story in the book than there is in the movie. I loved that. There are also some differences. Dorothy’s slippers are silver, not ruby. And the run-in with the Wicked Witch of the West is due to a quest Oz sends them on. There’s also the end. After Oz floats away in the balloon, they travel to the South to ask Glinda to send Dorothy home and each character gets their part of the story wrapped up nicely. If I had to describe this book in a word, the word would be “perfect.”
I just had to include my favorite illustration.
Disclosure: I downloaded a free e-book scan of this book from Kobo..
Rating & Recommendations
★★★★★ – Amazing! A must read!
Age Group: 6+
Subjects/Interests: good and evil, friendship, imaginary places
Geo M. Hill, 1900
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