The Wizard of Oz

Overview

Swept away from their Kansas farm by a wild cyclone, Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, find themselves in a strange and magical place: the Land of Oz. A marvelous adventure begins as she makes new friends—the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. Together they set off down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. Can the Wizard send Dorothy and Toto safely home?
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The Wizard of Oz

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Overview

Swept away from their Kansas farm by a wild cyclone, Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, find themselves in a strange and magical place: the Land of Oz. A marvelous adventure begins as she makes new friends—the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. Together they set off down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. Can the Wizard send Dorothy and Toto safely home?
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Using a condensed version of Baum's original 1900 text, the illustrator provides us with his unique interpretation of this American fantasy. Dorothy and Toto still meet Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion on their way to Oz. Obstacles like the poppy field, flying monkeys and the fake wizard are met and overcome. Dorothy discovers what is truly valuable in life¾returning to gray old Kansas and the loving arms of her aunt and uncle. Santore has fun drawing the Cowardly Lion towering over his companions, bending the Wicked Witch of the West at outrageous angles, and painting Oz green, greener, and greenest. This shorter, centennial-celebration version with dynamic graphics may be just right to read to the younger set who wiggle too much to sit through the entire original version. 2000, Random House, $21.95. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewer: Chris Gill
From Barnes & Noble
Faithful to L. Frank Baum's original story, this condensed version, which uses Baum's language, is a highly visual interpretation of the classic American fairy tale--a journey of colors as well as one through lands & adventures. 10" x 13". All ages
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405271783
  • Publisher: Egmont UK
  • Publication date: 2/1/2015
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 830,115
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

L. Frank Baum is the author of 14 Oz books, as well as many other classics of American fantasy. THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ is the best known of his legendary books.

Charles Santore is a renowned illustrator and his many awards include the Society of Illustrators Award of Excellence, the Alumni Award of the Philadelphia College of Art, and the Hamilton King Award. Charles Santore’s illustrations are part of the permanent collections of the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA; The Free Library of Philadelphia; New York City’s Museum of Modern Art; The United States Department of the Interior and many private collections.

Biography

Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Aunt Em -- where would our national psyche be without The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? L. Frank Baum, who created a story with an indelible, sometimes haunting impression on so many people, led a life that had a fairy-tale quality of its own.

Baum was born in 1856 to a family that had made a fortune in the oil business. Because he had a heart condition, his parents arranged for him to be tutored privately at the family’s Syracuse estate, “Roselawn.” As an adult, though, Baum flourished and failed at a dizzying variety of ventures, from writing plays to a stint with his family’s medicinal oil business (where he produced a potion called “Baum’s Castorine”), to managing a general store, to editing the Aberdeen Pioneer in Aberdeen, South Dakota. In 1897, following his mother-in-law’s advice, Baum wrote down the stories that he told his children. The firm of Way & Williams published the stories under the title Mother Goose in Prose, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, and Baum’s career as a writer was launched.

With the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, Baum gained instant success. The book, lavishly produced and featuring voluptuous illustrations by William Wallace Denslow, was the bestselling children’s book of the year. It also set a new standard for children’s literature. As a commentator for the September 8, 1900 New York Times described it, “The crudeness that was characteristic of the oldtime publications...would now be enough to cause the modern child to yell with rage and vigor...” The reviewer praised the book’s sheer entertainment value (its “bright and joyous atmosphere”) and likened it to The Story of the Three Bears for its enduring value. As the film industry emerged in the following years, few books were as manifestly destined for adaptation, and although it took almost four decades for a movie studio to translate Baum’s vision to film, the 1939 film did for the movies what Baum’s book had done for children’s literature: that is, raised the imaginative and technical bar higher than it had been before.

The loss of parents, the inevitable voyage toward independence, the yearning for home -- in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum touched upon a child’s primal experiences while providing a rousing story of adventure. As his health declined, Baum continued the series with 14 more Oz books (his publisher commissioned more by other authors after his death), but none had quite the effect on the reading public that the first one did. Baum died from complications of a stroke in 1919.

Good To Know

Baum founded the National Association of Window Trimmers and published a magazine for the window-trimming trade – he also raised exotic chickens.

Buam was married to Maud Gage, a daughter of the famous women’s rights advocate Matilda Joslyn Gage.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Floyd Akers, Laura Bancroft, George Brooks, Edith Van Dyne, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Louis F. Baum, Lyman Frank Baum (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 15, 1856
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chittenango, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1919
    2. Place of Death:
      Hollywood, California

Read an Excerpt

Mary Engelbreit's Classic Library: The Wizard of Oz

By L. Baum
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

L. Baum
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9780060081409


Chapter One

The Cyclone

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. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty-looking cooking stove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar—except a small hole, dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap-door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.

When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere.Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.

When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled, now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.

Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke.

It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.

To-day, however, they were not playing. Uncle Henry sat upon the door-step and looked anxiously at the sky, which was even grayer than usual. Dorothy stood in the door with Toto in her arms, and looked at the sky too. Aunt Em was washing the dishes.

From the far north they heard a low wail of the wind, and Uncle Henry and Dorothy could see where the long grass bowed in waves before the coming storm. There now came a sharp whistling in the air from the south, and as they turned their eyes that way they saw ripples in the grass coming from that direction also.

Suddenly Uncle Henry stood up.

"There's a cyclone coming, Em," he called to his wife; "I'll go look after the stock." Then he ran toward the sheds where the cows and horses were kept.

Aunt Em dropped her work and came to the door. One glance told her of the danger close at hand.

"Quick, Dorothy!" she screamed; "run for the cellar!"

Toto jumped out of Dorothy's arms and hid under the bed, and the girl started to get him. Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap-door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole. Dorothy caught Toto at last and started to follow her aunt. When she was half way across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the house shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor.

A strange thing then happened.

The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon.

The north and south winds met where the house stood, and made it the exact center of the cyclone. In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.

It was very dark, and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly, she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle.

Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor and waited to see what would happen.

Once Toto got too near the open trap-door, and fell in; and at first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong pressure of the air was keeping him up so that he could not fall. She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again; afterward closing the trap-door so that no more accidents could happen.



Continues...

Excerpted from Mary Engelbreit's Classic Library: The Wizard of Oz by L. Baum
Copyright © 2008 by L. Baum. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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