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The Annotated Wizard of Oz (1972)

by L. Frank Baum, Michael Patrick Hearn (Editor, Introduction and Notes)

Other authors: W. W. Denslow (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0081621,015 (4.38)19
A special edition of Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of Oz containing detailed textual notes and eighty-two pages of introductory historical material.

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» See also 19 mentions

English (15)  German (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Because it's the Wizard of Oz. And I don't care how many history/political science/economics classes try to ruin it. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Though it's not my favorite Oz book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a brilliant start to a brilliant series. Hearn's annotated edition is a thing of beauty, not to mention highly informative.

added August 2021:
My eldest son has long been interested in The Wizard of Oz; one of the books a friend gave us when he was born was the improbably title Little Master Baum: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Colors Primer: A BabyLit Book, which rearranges the story into a set of color-coded two-page spreads of objects. At some point—I don't remember how these days—he discovered my actual copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and I must have "read" it to him a million time by just summarizing the story with reference to the pictures. (I have a nice Books of Wonder facsimile edition of the original 1900 edition.) He was into it enough that my mother bought him a set of Wizard of Oz dolls for Christmas. I began to wonder if he might want to read the actual novel, word by word, but an article I read suggested age 3 was more likely. As we neared his third birthday, I realized he was sitting through whole issues of My Little Pony in one sitting (something he hadn't been able to do a couple months prior), and he was also down for some long, text-dense picture books. So I offered to read him the whole thing in its entirety and he agreed.

At first I think he was a bit baffled—Dorothy used to get out of Kansas in thirty seconds, now it took ten minutes!—but he quickly became an enthusiastic devotee. We would do one chapter a day, often two or more, though I quickly worked out that more than two chapters in one sitting was not compatible with his attention span. Knowing the outline of the whole story from having read it in summary form before definitely helped him keep track of things, and fit with the advice that article gave me.

It's a fun book to read aloud, with lots of room for good voices. For Dorothy I just used my normal voice. For the Munchkins and Emerald City residents, I did my normal voice, but pitched upward at the end of sentences; I matched this with the Scarecrow but made it a bit hoarse. I was surprised by how the Tin Woodman ended up with an English accent, but it seemed to fit the character perfectly. The Cowardly Lion was of course very deep. One criticism people lob at the book is that it's episodic, but when you are reading it out loud a chapter at a time, that kind of thing doesn't really register—the Dainty China Country's is today's episode, rather than an irrelevant diversion. (Though I suspect it's one he won't really remember.)

On this reread—who knows how many times I've read it now—I was struck by how the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion already possess their desire qualities before they are gifted by the Wizard (something lost from the MGM film): the Scarecrow comes up with the best plans, the Woodman always acts with compassion, the Lion is always brave. But also that they actually kind of lose them once they receive them; they are kind of stupid and uncompassionate when visiting the Dainty China Country, and the Lion's means of killing the giant spider isn't exactly an act of bravery. I'm curious to see how this plays out going forward.

The novel's violence was also interesting, and somewhat jarring compared to modern children's literature sensibilities. But surely a child of 1900 would have much more contact with death than my own son—and the book is always so matter of fact about it that it cannot disturb.

I couldn't find my Books of Wonder facsimile, so I had to read him my Norton annotated edition. This has the complete text and illustrations, though the color plates are all in one spot, so every chapter we had to check there for any relevant pictures. The main problem it represented is that I would often get distracted from reading aloud by reading footnotes!
  Stevil2001 | Oct 16, 2013 |
I found this book on the library shelves when I was in El Paso this summer. I was really enjoying it, but my schedule while there made my progress slow and I haven't yet had the time (work) and energy (illness) to see if it's available in the Tucson library. I definitely hope to finish this book, as I found it to be a fascinating glimpse into Baum's life and writings that went far beyond other biographical essays I've read about him. I also appreciated the insight into the different artists and into publishing during that era.
  PamelaDLloyd | Dec 2, 2010 |
After reading the L. Frank Baum biography I decided to read his most famous book, since I had never read it. I admit, I wanted to see how the original novel is different from the movie. And it IS in many major ways, for example the Oz principles are not counterparts to the Kansas people. That was a clever addition by the screenwriters. I found the annotations far-fetched, far too voluminous and eventually, tiresome. After a while, I skipped them and read only the novel's original text. It seemed quite long for a child to read.
  BrokenSpines | Nov 4, 2009 |
I haven't been blessed with the time or renewing privileges at my local library to continue finishing this book. I used it in a research class where I wrote a paper on The Wizard of Oz and it's "political allegory". With other sources and this one (this one being my absolute favorite) I actually ended up disproving my thesis. It was a genuine learning experience that I have not yet finished but am working on bit by bit.
Full of information on Denslow, Baum, etc. as well as prints of original plates, etc.
Absolutely spectacular!
I would recommend it not only as a resource, but also a great and fascinating piece of reading. ( )
  buried_n_books | Aug 25, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Baum, L. FrankAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hearn, Michael PatrickEditor, Introduction and Notesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Denslow, W. W.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Könner, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, Thomas H.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Troester, ÄnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
For Cynthia, Coleen, and Christopher
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.
Preface:  Almost every great nation has its immortal work of juvenile fantasy.
When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around all she saw was the the great gray Prairie on every side.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the annotated version of The Wizard of Oz (annotations by Michael Patrick Hearn), not the original work.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
A special edition of Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of Oz containing detailed textual notes and eighty-two pages of introductory historical material.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
AR 7.0, Pts 7.0
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