About the Author
Robert Sabuda is one of the most innovative and inventive children's book creators and is known worldwide for his amazing pop-up paper engineering. His books include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Winter's Tale, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, to name but afew, have garnered numerous awards and have made the New York Times bestseller lists on many occasions. He lives in New York City.
Date of Birth:May 15, 1856
Date of Death:May 6, 1919
Place of Birth:Chittenango, New York
Place of Death:Hollywood, California
Education:Attended Peekskill Military Academy and Syracuse Classical School
Read an Excerpt
The cyclone had set the house down in a country of marvelous beauty.
While Dorothy stood looking eagerly at the strange and beautiful sights, she noticed coming toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. Three were men and one a woman, and all were oddly dressed.
The little old woman walked up to Dorothy and said in a sweet voice, "You are welcome, most noble sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East and for setting our people free from bondage."
Dorothy looked and gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just under the corner of the house, two feet were sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes. "But who was she?" asked Dorothy.
"She was the Wicked Witch of the East," answered the woman. "She has held all the Munchkins in bondage for many years."
"Who are the Munchkins?" inquired Dorothy.
"They are the people who live in this land of the East, where the Wicked Witch ruled. I am their friend. When they saw the Witch of the East was dead, the Munchkins sent a swift messenger to me. I am the Witch of the North."
"But I thought all witches were wicked," said the girl.
"Oh, no; that is a great mistake, for I am one myself. Those who dwelt in the East and West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz -- the one who lives in the West."
"But," said Dorothy, "Aunt Em has told me that the witches were all dead. She is my aunt who lives in Kansas, where I come from."
"I do not know where Kansas is. In the civilized countries, I believe that there are no witches left; nor wizards. But, you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us."
"Who are the Wizards?" asked Dorothy.
"Oz himself is the Great Wizard," answered the Witch. "He is more powerful than all the rest of us. He lives in the City of Emeralds."
Dorothy was going to ask another question, but just then the Munchkins gave a loud shout and pointed to where the Wicked Witch had been lying. The feet of the dead Witch had disappeared entirely and nothing was left but the silver shoes.
"She was so old," explained the Witch of the North, "that she dried up quickly in the sun. But the silver shoes are yours. There is some charm connected with them."
"I am anxious to get back to my aunt and uncle, for I am sure they will worry about me. Can you help me find my way?"
The Munchkins and the Witch looked at one another and then shook their heads.
"The North is my home," said the old lady, "and at its edge is the great desert that surrounds this land of Oz. You must go to the City of Emeralds. Perhaps Oz will help you."
"Will you go with me?" pleaded the girl.
"No, I cannot do that," she replied. "But I will give you my kiss, and no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of the North." Where her lips touched the girl, they left a round, shining mark.
"The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick," said the Witch, "so you cannot miss it." The Witch gave Dorothy a friendly little nod, whirled on her heel, and disappeared.
"Come along, Toto," Dorothy said, "we will go to the Emerald City and ask the great Oz how to get back to Kansas again."
There were several roads nearby, but it did not take her long to find the one paved with yellow brick. She was surprised, as she walked along, to see how pretty the country was about her. There were neat fences at the sides of the road, painted a dainty blue color. The houses were odd-looking dwellings, for each was round, with a big dome for a roof. All were painted blue, for in this country of the East, blue was the favorite color.
When she had gone several miles, she thought she would stop to rest. Not far away she saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep the birds from the ripe corn. While Dorothy was looking into the painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her.
"I'm not feeling well," said the Scarecrow, "for it is very tedious being perched up here night and day to scare away crows."
"Can't you get down?" asked Dorothy.
"No, for this pole is stuck up my back. If you will please take away the pole, I shall be greatly obliged to you."
Dorothy reached up both arms and lifted the figure off the pole.
"Thank you very much," said the Scarecrow. "I feel like a new man."
"My name is Dorothy," said the girl, "and I am going to the Emerald City to ask the great Oz to send me back to Kansas."
"Do you think if I go to the Emerald City with you that the great Oz would give me some brains?"
"I cannot tell," she returned. "But you may come with me if you like."
"This must be the Land of Oz," said Dorothy, "and we are surely getting near the Emerald City." They soon saw a beautiful green glow in the sky just before them. Yet it was afternoon before they came to the great wall that surrounded the City.
In front of them was a big gate. They all passed through and before them stood a little man clothed all in green.
"What do you wish in the Emerald City?" he asked.
"We came here to see the Great Oz," said Dorothy.
"It has been many years since anyone asked me to see Oz," he said, shaking his head.
"But it is not a foolish errand," replied the Scarecrow. "We have been told that Oz is a good Wizard."
"So he is," said the man. "I am the Guardian of the Gates, and since you demand to see the Great Oz, I must take you to his palace. But first you must put on the spectacles. If you did not wear spectacles, the brightness and glory of the Emerald City would blind you."
The Guardian of the Gates led them through the streets until they came to the Palace of Oz. They passed through the Palace gates.
First they came to a great hall. As Dorothy entered, a bell rang. She opened a little door and found herself in a wonderful place.
What interested Dorothy most was the big throne in the middle of the room. In the center of the chair was an enormous Head, without body to support it.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
"I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help."
Then the voice said, "Where did you get the silver shoes?"
"I got them from the Wicked Witch of the East, when my house fell on her."
Then Oz asked, "What do you wish me to do?"
"Send me back to Kansas, where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are," she answered earnestly. "What must I do?"
"Kill the Wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz.
"But I cannot!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I never killed anything willingly, how could I kill the Wicked Witch?"
"I do not know, and do not ask to see me again until you have done your task."
Sorrowfully Dorothy left the Throne Room and went back to where the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Woodman were waiting.
"There is no hope for me," she said sadly. Her friends were sorry, but could do nothing to help her.
The Scarecrow was admitted to the Throne Room where he saw, sitting in the throne, a lovely lady.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
"I am only a Scarecrow. I come to you praying that you will put brains in my head instead of straw."
"If you will kill for me the Wicked Witch of the West, I will bestow upon you such good brains that you will be the wisest man in Oz. Until she is dead, I will not grant your wish."
The Scarecrow went sorrowfully back to his friends.
When the Tin Woodman entered the great Throne Room, Oz had taken the shape of a great Beast.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spake the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar. "Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
"I am a Woodman, and made of tin. I pray you to give me a heart that I may be as other men are."
"Help Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the West," replied the Beast.
So the Tin Woodman was forced to return to his friends.
The Lion at once passed through the door and saw that before the throne was a Ball of Fire, so fierce and glowing, he could scarcely bear to gaze upon it.
Then a low, quiet voice came from the Ball of Fire: "I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
And the Lion answered, "I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I come to you to beg that you give me courage."
"Bring me proof that the Wicked Witch is dead, and that moment I will give you courage."
The Lion was glad to find his friends waiting for him.
"What shall we do?" asked Dorothy, sadly.
"There is only one thing we can do," returned the Lion, "and that is to seek out the Wicked Witch and destroy her."
"I suppose we must try it, but I am sure I do not want to kill anybody, even to see Aunt Em again."
Therefore it was decided to start upon their journey the next morning. They went to bed early and slept soundly until daylight.
The Guardian of the Gates politely opened the gate for our friends.
"Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?" asked Dorothy.
"There is no road," answered the Guardian. "No one ever wishes to go that way."
They bade him good-bye and turned toward the West.
The four travelers walked up to the great gate of the Emerald City. When the people heard they had melted the Wicked Witch of the West, they all gathered around and followed the travelers to the Palace of Oz.
They thought the Great Wizard would send for them at once, but he did not. The waiting was tiresome and wearing.
Promptly at nine o'clock the next morning, they all went into the Throne Room of the Great Oz. Presently they heard a Voice, and it said, solemnly, "I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Why do you seek me?"
"We have come to claim our promise, O Oz."
"What promise?" asked Oz.
"You promised to send me back to Kansas when the Wicked Witch was destroyed," said the girl.
"Is the Wicked Witch really destroyed?" asked the Voice, and Dorothy thought it trembled a little.
"Yes," she answered.
"Dear me," said the Voice. "How sudden! Well, come to me tomorrow, for I must have time to think it over."
"You've had plenty of time already," said the Tin Woodman, angrily.
"You must keep your promises to us!" exclaimed Dorothy.
The Lion gave a large, loud roar, which was so fierce that Toto jumped in alarm and tipped over the screen that stood in a corner. As it fell with a crash, they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man. The Tin Woodman rushed toward the little man and cried out, "Who are you?"
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," said the little man, in a trembling voice. "I'm just a common man."
"You're more than that," said the Scarecrow, in a grieved tone. "You're a humbug."
"But I don't understand," said Dorothy, in bewilderment. "How was it that you appeared to me as a great head?"
"That was one of my tricks," answered Oz. "Sit down, please, and I will tell you my story. I was born in Omaha -- "
"Why, that isn't very far from Kansas!" cried Dorothy.
"I became a balloonist, a man who goes up in a balloon on circus day. One day I went up in a balloon and the ropes got twisted, so that I couldn't come down again. It went way above the clouds, many, many miles away. I awoke and found the balloon floating over a beautiful country, in the midst of a strange people who thought I was a great Wizard."
"I think you are a very bad man," said Dorothy.
"Oh, no, my dear, I'm a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard. The Witches of the East and West were terribly wicked, and had they not thought I was more powerful than they themselves, they would surely have destroyed me. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I heard your house had fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East. When you came to me I was willing to promise anything if you would only do away with the other Witch. But now that you have melted her, I am ashamed to say that I cannot keep my promises."
"Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.
"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge."
"That may be true," said the Scarecrow, "but I shall be very unhappy unless you give me brains."
"But how about my courage?" asked the Lion, anxiously.
"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself."
"Perhaps I have, but I'm scared just the same," said the Lion. "I shall be very unhappy unless you give me the sort of courage that makes one forget he is afraid."
"How about my heart?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"Why, as for that," answered Oz, "I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy."
"That must be a matter of opinion," said the Tin Woodman. "For my part, I will bear all the unhappiness without a murmur, if you will give me a heart."
"And now," said Dorothy, "how am I to get back to Kansas?"
"Very well," answered Oz, meekly. "Come back tomorrow."
Next morning the Scarecrow went in and found the little man sitting by the window.
"I have come for my brains," remarked the Scarecrow, a little uneasily. "You are quite welcome to take my head off, as long as it will be a better one when you put it on again."
So the Wizard unfastened his head and emptied out the straw. Then he took a great measure of bran and filled the Scarecrow's head. When he fastened the Scarecrow's head on his body again, he said to him, "Hereafter you will be a new man, for I have given you a lot of bran-new brains."
The Woodman entered and said, "I have come for my heart."
So the Wizard cut a small, square hole in the left side of the Tin Woodman's breast. Then, going to a chest of drawers, he took out a pretty heart, made entirely of silk and stuffed with sawdust. He put the heart in the Woodman's breast and replaced the square of tin.
"There," said he. "Now you have a heart that any man might be proud of."
The Lion now walked to the Throne Room and knocked at the door. "I have come for my courage."
"Very well," answered the little man. He went to a cupboard and took down a green bottle, the contents of which he poured into a dish.
"What is it?" asked the Lion.
"Well," answered Oz, "if it were inside of you, it would be courage. Courage is always inside one, so that this really cannot be called courage until you have swallowed it."
The Lion drank till the dish was empty.
"How do you feel now?" asked Oz.
"Full of courage," replied the Lion, who went joyfully back to his friends to tell them of his good fortune.
Thus each of the little party was satisfied except Dorothy, who longed more than ever to get back to Kansas.
To her joy Oz sent for her, and when she entered the Throne Room, he said, "I think I have found the way to get you out of this country."
"How?" asked Dorothy.
"In a balloon," said Oz.
It took three days to sew together a big bag of green silk more than twenty feet long.
Oz ordered the balloon carried out in front of the Palace. The Tin Woodman had chopped a big pile of wood. He made a fire of it, and Oz held the bottom of the balloon over the fire so the hot air that arose from it would be caught in the silken bag. Gradually the balloon swelled out and rose into the air, until finally the basket just touched the ground.
Then Oz got into the basket and said to all the people: "I am now going away to make a visit. While I am gone, the Scarecrow will rule. Obey him as you would me."
The balloon was by this time tugging hard at the rope that held it to the ground.
"Come, Dorothy!" cried the Wizard. "Hurry up, or the balloon will fly away."
"I can't find Toto anywhere," replied Dorothy. Toto had run into the crowd. Dorothy at last found him and ran toward the balloon.
Oz was holding out his hands to help her into the basket, when, crack! went the ropes, and the balloon rose into the air without her.
"Come back!" she screamed.
"I can't come back, my dear," called Oz. "Good-bye!"
And that was the last any of them ever saw of Oz.
Dorothy wept bitterly at the passing of her hope to get home to Kansas again.
"I don't want to live here," cried Dorothy.
"Well, then, what can be done?" enquired the Woodman.
"Is there no one who can help me?" asked Dorothy.
"Glinda, the Witch of the South. She is the most powerful of all the Witches and rules over the Quadlings. Her castle stands on the edge of the desert, so she may know a way to cross it."
The Scarecrow said, "It seems that the best thing Dorothy can do is to travel to the Land of the South and ask Glinda to help her."
"I shall go," declared the Lion. "Dorothy will need someone to protect her."
"That is true," agreed the Woodman. "I also will go with her to the Land of the South."
"When shall we start?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Are you going?" they asked, in surprise.
"Certainly. If it wasn't for Dorothy I should never have had brains. My good luck is due to her, and I shall never leave her until she starts back to Kansas for good and all."...