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The Emerald City of Oz (Books of Wonder) Hardcover – Facsimile, April 23, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews
Book 6 of 14 in the Oz Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up?If only the superior production values of this audiobook were in service to a better story. The fine vocal characterizations by the actors and actresses really bring the characters to life. To children unaccustomed to read-aloud tapes, using several readers instead of only one will help listeners distinguish who is who. The entire text of the book is narrated, including "he said" and "she said," which allows the tape to be used as a read-along when paired with a copy of the book. Too bad this title is one of Baum's least compelling, even though there are several action scenes. The Emerald City of Oz begins at a snail's pace with the introduction of the villain, Nome King, who wants to destroy the Emerald City and retrieve his magic belt. The beginning also reintroduces Dorothy, Auntie Em, and Uncle Henry. We can look forward to other releases by Piglet Press if they are produced with such a fine cast of actors.
Penny Peck, San Leandro Public Library, CA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"[A] beautiful new collection from Hesperus. . . these beloved stories by Frank L. Baum receive the star treatment with simple and stunning cover art."  —The Daily BLAM! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 990 (What's this?)
  • Series: Books of Wonder
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Facsimile edition (April 23, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688115586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688115586
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though I loved the original Wizard of Oz, and have enjoyed all the Oz books for more than 20 years (back to when my mother first read them to me), Emerald City ranks as my all-time favorite. It's full of adventure, suspense and humor. Who could forget the ridiculous roly-poly Nomes and their quixotic plan to conquer Oz with the help of some rather bizarre allies? Or the village where every house and fence (not to mention every inhabitant) was edible? As I write this, my week-old son sleeps in my lap. I can't wait to read him this book when he's old enough to appreciate it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just read The Emerald City of Oz to my little boy, who's almost five (see my earlier review of the book from 2000 which I wrote when he was about a week old!), and he and I both enjoyed it immensely. We're reading all the Oz books in order, and are now on our eighth (Tik-Tok of Oz). My son is a huge Oz fan.

One cautionary note to those who wish to read this book to their young children: My little one was actually quite upset and frightened at the prospect of Oz being invaded and possibly destroyed by the Nomes and their ferocious allies. A number of times I had to soothe him by explaining that Ozma was sure to find some way to save her country. Perhaps this is a better book for older children.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this sixth Oz book, Baum makes an effort to close down the series and tie up all the various loose ends. Dorothy, driven by financial disaster, brings Aunty Em and Uncle Henry to Oz to live out the rest of their lives in peace with Ozma in the palace. At the same time, Roquat the Red (the old foe of the girls) decides to lay waste to Oz once and for all to retrieve his magic belt.

The middle of the book meanders a bit, as Dorothy takes Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on a tour of some of the stranger parts of Oz. The various towns (Cuttenclips, Fuddles, Utensia, etc.) are half puns, half morality plays, but still clever for all of that. Dorothy is a well-written enough character that she can raise a smile even in a ridiculous scene like the one in Bunbury where she is offered a stale wheelbarrow to eat instead of the lunch she was looking for.

The Neill illustrations in this Oz book are particularly magical. For example, the big paste heads of the Whimsies have stuck in my head all the years since I have read it for the first time.

I have read all the Oz books multiple times, and this is one of the three which have proven the most memorable. (The other two are The Road to Oz and Ozma of Oz) It gets a high recommendation despite any minor flaws.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you were to read only two books in the series, they should be 'The Wonderful Wizard' and this one. Originally intended as the bookend to the first volume, it would have produced a very fine 'happily ever after' for Dorothy. After all - who wants to keep going back to dust-bowl era Kansas when you are surrounded by emeralds and talking animals? However, due to some understandable financial concerns, it was not to be. Baum continued writing, rendering this merely a half-way point. Nonetheless, you can view this as the end of a narrative arc if you like, making the first book and this book a good choice for combined reading.

The normal Oz elements are there, as well as some evident growth in Baum's writing style. Other reviews note the first-time dual narrative, but Baum's style has grown in other ways as well. His homespun do-good philosophy remains but is now accompanied in some sections by puns that would make Piers Anthony blush. My personal preference among all chapters is the short trip to Utensia for this very reason. A very amusing chapter, completely lost on my son but entertaining to me.

One slight oddity is the political structure that is becoming increasingly clear in book after book: Oz is a Utopian Monarchy. Everyone does as they wish because everything is owned by a single person who gives completely free reign to everyone. I can see how this would be appealing to the kiddos (no need to work or go to school!), and I can accept the appeal as long as I get to be the king in my house!

This is an enjoyable read aloud to young children. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are no pictures in this edition at all. Most, maybe all, of the original editions did have some pictures, which I would have liked to have seen. Also, as with the other free editions in this series, there are many typographical errors, mainly misspellings. There is also the occasional bit of text that's randomly bold for no apparent reason. I suspect that a printed copy of the book was scanned and run through OCR, with no follow-up accuracy check.

The story itself is pretty good. Although all of this series is clearly written for children, it's entertaining enough for adults to enjoy reading as well. But as an adult, I couldn't help but notice that many of the characters in all of these Oz stories, including the central characters, are often conceited, arrogant, and rude, yet at the same time, quite polite about it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Oz book is one of the more disjointed ones, more a sort of package tour of Ozma's magic kingdom than a quest. But the vignettes are charming and stick with you. The "Rigamaroles" have become part of this family's culture, with my 12 yo son and I occasionally getting into rigamarole competitions, where we go on and on without saying anything. Bunbury and Bunnybury also stuck with me during the six years between reading this to my first son and my second; utensia is ... punny; and the cuttenclips, the fuddles, and the flutterbudgets are all cute and endearing. A great read aloud for the 5 to 10 set.
Onr thing, though: The famed metallic ink in the Books Of Wonder edition is just sort of glittery. Nice, but not really any big deal. I don't think that this is the best looking BoW Oz book.
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