The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz #1)
Written by L. Frank Baum
Illustrated by W. W. Denslow
Journey to the spectacular land of Oz with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! This classic tale from L. Frank Baum has enchanted readers for over a century. Now, in this stunning hundredth anniversary edition featuring the original illustrations by W.W. Denslow, new readers will learn the power of the phrase “There is no place like home.”
In this hardcover edition with high-quality reproductions of the original art, 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-powerful Wizard of Oz.
My thoughts on this book:
My 8-year-old decided she wanted to read this one and we just finished buddy reading two different copies. The copy she’s reading is a new Scholastic version which is just a simple paperback with an adorable cover.
I went ahead and picked up the 100th anniversary edition for our home library because it’s illustrated, large print, and hardcover which I love.
I’m sure most of you already know the story. The beginning opens with a cyclone that carries Dorothy’s house–along with her and her little dog Toto–all the way to a foreign land. Her house falls on a wicked witch killing her and Dorothy becomes a hero. On her journey to find the wizard she meets a scarecrow, a tin woodman, and a cowardly lion.
Dorothy’s love for her new found friends is heartwarming and there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them. Together they embark on an adventure to find the Emerald City. Each of the four travelers has a request for the wizard. The scarecrow wants brains, the tin woodman a heart, and the lion needs courage. Dorothy’s only request is to be sent back home to Aunt Em in Kansas. It’s quite fascinating what can be accomplished if you only believe.
“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”
I can’t remember the last time I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but it was probably sometime around 5th grade or so. We had a tattered up copy in our school library. I’m not even sure if I finished it because this time around, I was amazed with the differences in the book compared to the Hollywood movie. Some events were left out in the film, while others were added in which made it even more exciting, including the entire beginning of the movie. Details were also different. Not only that, parts of the book were fairly dark for young readers.
He seized his axe, which he had made very sharp, and as the leader of the wolves came on the Tin Woodman swung his arm and chopped the wolf’s head from its body, so that it immediately died. As soon as he could raise his axe another wolf came up, and he also fell under the sharp edge of the Tim Woodman’s weapon. There were forty wolves, and forty times a wolf was killed; so that at last they all lay dead in a heap before the Woodman.
We enjoyed reading about the magical world L. Frank Baum has created in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Just picture it with fighting trees, flying monkeys, munchkins and witches. There was no telling what would happen next! We connected with all the characters too.
I was one of those children who waited for the movie to come on local television channels every single year. I was entranced when Dorothy got sucked up into the tornado along with her house and Toto. One of the most exciting parts for me was when the movie transitioned from black and white to color. I was obsessed with the movie. The book may not be as extravagant as the movie and there are many differences, but the book is still magical with great characters. There are many good lessons for children to learn as well.
This was a very creative children’s fantasy in my opinion. The illustrations throughout were a treat and make the story even more interesting. It’s a book perfect for all ages. I’m not sure if we’ll reread it anytime soon, but my eight-year-old and ten-year-old kids enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ve read the second book and plan to finish the entire series eventually.
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 – 7
- Series: Books of Wonder
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Anniversary edition (October 3, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060293233
- ISBN-13: 978-0060293239