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The Marvelous Land of Oz (Books of Wonder)…

The Marvelous Land of Oz (Books of Wonder) (original 1904; edition 2001)

by L. Frank Baum (Author)

Series: Oz : Baum (2), Oz : Famous Forty (book 2), Oz (2)

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3,238743,503 (3.78)92
Tip and his creation, Jack Pumpkin, run away to Oz, where they save the city after it is captured by girls.
Title:The Marvelous Land of Oz (Books of Wonder)
Authors:L. Frank Baum (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2001), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1904)


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Oz is conquered by girls with knitting needles.

3/4 (Good).

Baum is not great at telling stories, but as more and more weird creatures just keep piling up, I find that my desire to keep reading this series is building.

(Mar. 2022) ( )
  comfypants | Mar 20, 2022 |
I read my son The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and his interest was high enough that I resolved to continue onward into the second book. (Indeed, at the time that I write this, we're a few chapters into book six.) But when I pulled my childhood edition of The Marvellous Land of Oz off the shelf, it was clear to me that the book was inadequate to our purposes. One of the big draws of the first book for my son was the profuse illustrations by W. W. Denslow, but my edition of Marvellous Land was a re-illustrated Puffin Classic from 1985. Far from having multiple John R. Neill illustrations per chapter, including color plates, it had about one crappy picture every other chapter! This was great when I was reading the books to myself at age ten, but I did not think it would maintain a three-year-old's interest. So I seized the excuse to upgrade my much-loved copy of Marvelous Land, and I picked up the 1985 Books of Wonder edition; the Books of Wonder editions of Baum's original fourteen are not quite facsimiles of the first editions (this one, for example, has different end papers than the original), but they are pretty close.

My son seemed to enjoy this one as much as the first. After we read about Tip building Jack Pumpkinhead, he built a version of his little brother out of household objects! There are ways in which this one is fun to read aloud. There's a good cast of characters to which I could attribute distinctive voices: cackling Mombi, dim-witted Jack Pumpkinhead, the drawling Sawhorse, the extravagant Woggle-Bug. (I think he did point out, though, that my voice for the bear in Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back is the same as Jack Pumpkinhead's; he didn't comment on my Sawhorse voice being the same one I use for Applejack in My Little Pony comics.)

On the other hand, I found the book less appealing on this readthrough. Wizard has a very arresting first chapter: the excellent description of gray Kansas, culminating in the cyclone. Land's is much less successful: we hear about abusive Mombi, but don't see her, and then Tip spends some time building Jack for reasons that to be honest seemed a bit dubious... and then that's it. While Wizard puts Dorothy in peril right from the beginning, by the end of the first chapter of Land, where we're going is less clear. And indeed, the whole book is like that: Tip's decision to ride to the Emerald City with Jack and the Sawhorse is pretty random; the characters leave the Emerald City to get the Tin Woodman's help, and go right back and end up in pretty much the exact same situation they were in before they left, because as one guy with an axe, the Tin Woodman is actually not much help; the flight into what seems to be our world feels pretty pointless; and then Glinda solves everything.

That lack of agency was the main problem I had with the book. When I read the Shanower & Young comic adaptation, I praised the book for its cast of misfits... but on reading the actual book again, I found that element much less successful. I feel as though Baum was attempting to recapture the magic of the original book's Scarecrow–Tin Woodman–Cowardly Lion trio, but failing. Their power comes from the way they worked together (with Dorothy) to solve problems, often in spite of their self-perceived limitations. Here so many of the characters seem to do very little. Tip occasionally has good ideas, but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman are pretty useless; and new characters Jack Pumpkinhead and Woggle-Bug contribute almost nothing at all. Plus everyone becomes mean and is constantly sniping at each other! Like, I want to see the misfits come together and save the day, I want to see the dim Jack Pumpkinhead suddenly prove clutch, but that very rarely happens. I think probably this is because Baum wrote the book with an eye toward a stage adaptation, and imagined some comedic banter. But in the actual book, it doesn't come off well.

I did have a new appreciation for General Jinjur. The gag about how hard the husbands have to work once the women stop working is a good one.* It seems a shame that there's no subsequent Oz book with a substantial role for here; even outside of the Famous Forty, no fan has ever written a General Jinjur of Oz as far as I can tell. Maybe I should be the one!

But, you know, the pictures are great! And Son One clearly had a good time. I was very happy we picked up the Books of Wonder edition.

* "[W]e've had a revolution, your Majesty as you ought to know very well," replied the [Emerald City] man; "and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City."
     "Hm!" said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. "If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?"
     "I really do not know" replied the man, with a deep sigh.
1 vote Stevil2001 | Nov 30, 2021 |
L. Frank Baum is an author I have read many times since I first discovered him in second grade. I find that his books stand up to the test of time and they are books that I enjoy re-reading. Some of them are stronger than others but as a whole I quite enjoy both the stories and characters. ( )
1 vote KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
This was good. It was a bit more focused on the turn of phrase than progression of plot, but the story helped to advance things forward sensibly. I was particularly attached to the Cowardly Lion in the first book so I was sad to see that he didn't make a second appearance in this one. I was rather taken with the Wogglebug in this because he reminded me so much of the Humbug in The Phantom Tollbooth. Tip turning boy to girl was a bit of a leap forward in thinking for the time that this book was born from. All in all, none of this should be forgotten. Book one garners all the attention, but book two was no slouch. ( )
  matthewbloome | Jun 20, 2021 |
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (120 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Frank Baumprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baum, Robert A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benedict III, Steven JCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glassman, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowe, WesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKee, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neill, John ReaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To those excellent
good fellows
eminent comedians
David C.
Fred A. Stone
whose clever
personations of
Tin Woodman
and the
have delighted
thousands of
throughout the land,
this book is
gratefully dedicated
The Author.
First words
In the country of the Gillikins, which is at the North of the Land of Oz, lived a youth called Tip.
'This,' said the Gump, in a squeaky voice not at all proportioned to the size of its great body, 'is the most novel experience I ever heard of. The last thing I remember distinctly is walking through the forest and hearing a loud noise...'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Tip and his creation, Jack Pumpkin, run away to Oz, where they save the city after it is captured by girls.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438294, 190943826X


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