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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

by L. Frank Baum

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Oz : Famous Forty (book 1), Oz (1), Oz : Baum (1)

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This lavishly illustrated picture book is an abridged version of the original Wizard of Oz, first in the Oz series. The story bears similarities to the popular movie of the same name, but is quite different. Dorothy hitches a ride on a tornado, and flattens a witch beneath her house, but the magic shoes are silver. She lands in the land of the Munchkins and meets a good witch; not Glinda, this one is kindly and elderly and short. The Good Witch of the North kisses Dorothy on the forehead, giving her a charm that protects her against evil, although Dorothy is unaware of the kiss's power. She and Toto set off on the yellow brick road, in search of the Emerald City and the powerful Wizard of Oz.

En route, they meet the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion. These three new companions learn about the wizard from Dorothy, and decide they can use a little help, too. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Woodsman wants a heart, and the Lion wants courage. Their journey has many obstacles, however, like the deep abyss in the road or the field of poppies that causes all people and animals to fall asleep. Once they finally reach the Emerald City, they are greeted with the city guard, who locks a pair of green spectacles on everyone's head, even Toto. While they are impressed by the lovely green tones of everything in the city, they are less happy with the wizard, who is vast floating head, and not too friendly. He demands that they kill the Wicked Witch of the West before he will grant anyone anything, and the group of friends sadly set out again. None of them wants to kill another person, even if she is a wicked witch.

Most of the events up to this point were reflected in the movie, albeit missing many details and with alterations. From this point, though, the novel brings in so much more that was abandoned by the film. The witch tries to stop the travelers from reaching her home through a variety of nasty methods, and when the yellow brick road folk thwart each of her efforts, she calls on the flying monkeys as a last resort. They destroy the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman, but leave Dorothy and the Lion intact; Dorothy because she is protected by a kiss, and the Lion because he is too fearsome. Dorothy is imprisoned for many days, until the Wicked Witch of the West tricks her to steal one of the silver slippers, and Dorothy throws a bucket of water over her in anger. Through chance, she has killed the witch. They return to the wizard in triumph, learn he is more a con man than a wizard, and watch him disappear in a hot air balloon, accidentally leaving Dorothy behind. The story doesn't end there, though. The friends go on yet another perilous journey, this time to find the Good Witch Glinda and ask her how Dorothy can return to Kansas.

While this book is abridged, it is a nice method of sharing a classic story with young readers. I imagine not many people have actually read the Wizard of Oz, as a matter of fact, but are familiar with the story from the famous movie that has become iconic in the film industry. I've never read it myself, but after reading this version as a bed time story to my girls, I am certainly eager to read the original. Personally, I am not fan of abridged books, but in the context of reading them to young children who won't sit through a reading of the full book, I see their appeal. (My family has also read an illustrated and abridged version of Peter Pan for one of our bed time books.) This abridgment is written with clear language that seamlessly pieces together parts of the original novel so that new readers won't feel confused or as if anything is missing. A note at the end of the book explains that the original story was condensed, not rewritten, and this book is meant to be a visual interpretation of Baum's work. Certainly the illustrations are gorgeous, and vividly express the world of Oz, allowing descriptive details to be omitted.

As I wrote earlier, I am very interested in reading the first book in the Oz series. Honestly, I have played with the idea of reading the series for years (they are fantasy classics, and referenced in so many other works), but now that we have read a picture book version I am feeling much more motivated. The world of Oz looks complex and amazing, and the characters are more interesting than I remembered. They have flaws and traits not captured in the film. The plot has intriguing developments, fun folk-tale inspired complications, and a brisk and suspenseful narrative pace, and I want to see the story unfold in its original words. Meanwhile, this picture book is an beautifully illustrated version, and an enticement to seek out the source material. ( )
  nmhale | Feb 19, 2015 |
Read for Classic Book Assignment
  SaritaInce | Feb 16, 2015 |
At the end of the book Wicked was a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I had already read this by then, all the Oz books are available free for iBooks and Kindle. I’m sure for other readers also.

Although I had never seen the movie(1939 MGM) in its entirety or read the book, I knew the general story. After all “it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture”. The book is of course different from what I had gleaned from the movie, there is of course more detail and more things happening.

When Dorothy asks the Wizard of Oz to send her back to Kansas he tells her: “In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you.”

Now this may seem reasonable and fair except that the Wizard doesn’t have magic power and knows he can’t send Dorothy back! And what does he want Dorothy to do? “Kill the Wicked Witch of the West”. His reasoning is that the Wicked Witch is “tremendously Wicked–and ought to be killed.”
When Dorothy and her group find out that he is not a wizard, just a man, he insists, “I’m not a bad man, I’m a bad wizard.”

He lies, (he’s been lying for years we find out), sends out a little girl to either kill or be killed, knowing that if she kills the Witch he can’t keep up his end of the bargain but he’s not a bad man. Even if she is protected by the Good Witch’s sign on her forehead and wearing shoes that contain a powerful charm, she doesn’t know how to use the shoes and still a little girl is sent out to KILL SOMEONE! In what world is that right? In what world does a ‘good man’ do that? And then when he figures out a way to get out of Oz, he leaves Dorothy behind.

Plus, Dorothy should have really had a leash for Toto. And when Dorothy had to go see Glinda, why didn’t she just ask the flying Monkeys to take her there? She knows they can, they can’t take her to Kansas but they can take her anywhere in Oz. Then they wouldn’t have spent weeks walking and climbing over walls and breaking little china people.

For the above reasons I gave this book 2 stars instead of 3, because these things really upset me. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
Well that was interesting. While the movie seems to have lasted the test of time the book did seem out of date. I enjoyed reading the original however and found that there was much more to the story than I ever assumed there was. I will save this and read this to my children before they ever seem the movie...it was that good. ( )
  gopfolk | Feb 2, 2015 |
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of America's first fantasy tales that we get to call our own. As a teacher the strongest educational use out of the WIzard of Oz is the use of analogies and symbols in the story.Students would have to read closely and look deeper into the book while reading to find the meaning behind the words. One very big analogy is the separation of towns and the different people that live in them. This is representing the world in which we live, how certain people live in certain places. This creates discussion about diversity among the world with students. The Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow are each on a journey to find something they want but truly already have. This is an encouragement that young students should be able to grasp onto. If they feel like they are lacking or insecure about something reading the Wizard of Oz they can begin to see they had it in them all along.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a great book and an interesting read. Students will enjoy the adventure and cheer on the 4 travelers as they overcome their problems and each find what they were looking for. ( )
  crieder95 | Feb 2, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Frank Baumprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, WayneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biro, B.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Copelman, EvelynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denslow, William WallaceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engelbreit, MaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espinosa, GerardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foreman, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glassman, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Granger, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hague, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hathaway, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helanen-Ahtola, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herring, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingpen, Robert R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krenkel, RoyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krukenberg, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magagna, Anna MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, KlausCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCurdy, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKee, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rawle, GrahamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schulz, Russell HCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scobie, TrevorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulrey, DaleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisgard, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiesgard, LeonardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwerger, LisbethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is dedicated to my good friend and comrade, my wife L. F. B.
First words
Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
"Take me home to Aunt Em!"
"Come along, Toto," she said. "We will go to the Emerald City and ask the great Oz how to get back to Kansas."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please DO NOT combine film adaptations (DVDs, videos), or any abridged, young reader's, excerpted, anthologized, or other adaptations, with the work for the book. These are considered separate and distinct works for LibraryThing cataloging. Also please be careful when editing and deleting information in Common Knowledge, since this is common data that affects everyone in LibraryThing.
ISBN 0762416289 is a Courage Books edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
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Book description
Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration - Female, 2013

One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they get swept away into the magical land of Oz , where they encounter characters and places you may remember from the movie – and several more that never made it to the big screen – on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City.

“It’s such a wonderful book and I was so happy to be a part of bringing it to life”, Ms. Hathaway said. “There are a lot of great voices in it. The more fun you have with it, the sillier and the more free you get with it, the better it is because it’s a story that can handle it. It’s amazing to be able to discover something new about something you feel you know so well.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting.
Haiku summary
Headline: Kansas girl
Enters strange new land; at once
Starts a killing spree.


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060293233, Hardcover)

One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, "There's no place like home."

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powered Wizard of Oz.

This lavishly produced facsimile of the rare first edition contains all 24 of W. W. Denslow's original color plates, the colorful pictorial binding, and the 130 two-color illustrations that help make The Wonderful Wizard of Oz so special and enduring.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:02 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great wizard in order to return to Kansas.

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33 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141180854, 0141321024, 0141808314, 0141341734, 0143106635

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438243, 1909438278

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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