Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) 
 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1)
by L. Frank Baum
Genre(s): Youth, Classics, Fantasy
Pages:   156
Originally Published: 1900
Summary:  "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."
Review:   I have parts about this I loved and parts that bothered me so my thoughts a left a jumbled mess. First off, if you do not know this story, go learn about it. Everyone should know the Wizard of Oz and most of us do. Although I think many of us are more familiar with the movie. The story concept is just great and one I have always loved and all that credit goes to the author.

Now, I must admit I like the movie more than the book. While the basic story is great and Dorothy being a little girl does put a more child-like quality of the book there is a lot of violence in this story. The Tin Man's story is both sad and horrifying and might be a bit much for a young child to handle. And the neck breaking, limb lopping as they make their way across Oz was harsh. While it is not very graphic in description it is still easy to visualize. So while the story is written in a style for young children, about half the content is on the mature side.

This is a short story being between 110-200 pages (depending on the pictures of various editions). The chapters are short and the pace is fast. A lot happens in that time. It is still a fantastical adventure and in some ways getting the back story of the characters added to it's enrichment.

There are quite a few differences from the movie to the book. From the house Dorothy green up in, the Ruby vs silver slippers, the Winged Monkeys, The Emerald City, etc. It was very interesting to see and discover the differences. One thing that really jumped out at me was how each character acted versus what they kept saying they wanted from the Wizard. Amusing aspect to the story, making it all the more endearing.

Overall enjoyable. I am curious to continue the series yet there is no feeling of needing to rush to the next book. It is a series to read at leisure. I advise caution for young children for this book. If a movie copied the details of the book, it would not be rated G. So just a heads up, I advise you to read it before your child does if allowing them to read this at a young age.


  1. Good review. I haven't read this book since I was little. :)

  2. I loved these books when I was young! We had the whole series in my house (5 kids) to read, so I have read quite a few Oz books. I think that if I read them now, parts might be quite dated in style. I agree that the movie is very different in some ways, and I enjoyed that too, especially Judy Garland, and the great "suddenly in color" entrance to Oz.

  3. I read this book when I was young and I remember being a bit disappointed because the movie was so different. Now I can look back at the book and appreciate it as the classic it is. Thank you for your review.


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