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Ozma of Oz (Books of Wonder)
Format: HardcoverChange
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 22, 1999
Though I first read this book nearly 50 years ago, it still remains one of the best books I have ever read. Adults may feel that it is a kid's book, and of course it is perfect for kids, but believe me, it can be enjoyed by people of any age. All you need is love of a good story. For many years Ozma was my heroine--I dreamed that I would meet her somehow, somehow be transported like Dorothy to the Land of Oz. Though these dreams faded, I still often think that this book might be the favorite book of my life. Dorothy's new adventures, the rescue expedition from Oz that crosses the Deadly Desert, and the spooky confrontation between good and evil in the caverns of the Nome King. The Oz characters have accompanied me through life. Try them---you will never forget them.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2010
This title apparently has no images. None of the original great art of the novel. And that's a problem, because there's at least one place in the store where the narrative stops, and the reader is supposed to read from the image in the book. Then the story continues as if you've read the image. But this version has no images, and no replacing text. So there's a discontinuity in the story where the image should have been. The story itself is great, but this version really does suffer for not having the original art.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 1999
I just love this books. So much imagination! I read this book back in first grade. I read a lot that year, and no book stuck in my mind like this one did. I have remembered the story for years, because it is so original. I recently checked it out in the library to re-read it, and it was every bit as good. I recommend this book to all ages, L. Frank is da Baum! :)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 21, 1999
This is the third OZ book I've read now and I have finally seen a little of what other readers must see in the series. The story succeeds on several levels. Children will enjoy the fantasy of it while adults can see the deeper ironys that abound. In fact, I have read other books that I thought were completely original but now I realize the authors had read Oz! I was happy to read about a couple of new Oz characters teaming up with the old favorites. Like other Oz books, this is a quick read but I plan to read more in the series, just to see what happens.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2008
This is the best Oz book I have read so far with my son. That being said, I have only read 3 as I am going in sequential order. Nonetheless, it is much better than Book 2 and marginally better than the original.

The chief difference between Ozma and the prior two books is a streamlined narrative which focuses primarily on a single event (journey to the Nome King) with a tangible goal (free the royal family of Ev). Excluding the small section on the Wheelers and Lunch Pail trees, the fantasy elements tend more towards the traditional as opposed to Baum's imagination. You can even see a bit of the old "Mountain King" myth in this story. The net effect is that this story is more concise and less tied to the early 20th century than the preceding novels.

Another big change from the second book is a drastic reduction in the turn-of-the-century chauvinism on display in book 2. Jinjur even goes so far as to give her husband a black eye for milking the wrong cow. I am not sure if a double-entendre is intended here or not, but this is light-years away from the housewives in the prior book.

I highly recommend this as a good read to your children before they go to bed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2000
I loved all the 'Oz' books when I was growing up, and 'Ozma of Oz' was probably my favorite. Dorothy Gale returns to the Land of Oz via the Land of Ev and encounters new adventures, new friends, and new villains. I especially loved the lunch-box and dinner-pail trees, Princess Languidere and her different heads, and the Oz friends making their Eleven Guesses in the Gnome King's cavern. I'm so happy that Books of Wonder has reprinted all these original stories in hardcover! Every one is a treasure that deserves to be discovered by new generations of children and adults alike!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This has always been my absolute favorite book of the Oz series. It makes a great read aloud to young children, but I think older kids will like it too, due to some fascinating concepts such as the Wheelers, the Princess with 28 heads, and the Giant with the hammer. In this book, L. Frank Baum also introduces some of his best characters in the entire Oz series: Tik-Tok, the Nome King, and Billina the Hen, who is a delightfully mischievious character (as a child, I was always disappointed that she never made more appearances in future Oz books). "Ozma of Oz" also represents, in my opinion, the best-designed Oz book and this particular edition features color throughout, marvelous typography, and absolutely gorgeous illustrations by John R. Neill. I highly recommend this book and believe no children's library should be without it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
This is a truly delightful book that has captivated our entire family. My almost 6 year old son has been entranced by it for our nightly reads wanting more and more chapters. My 2 year old daughter delights in the pictures and also stays for some of the reads --- she is fascinated by the Wheelers. The book has every element of a great story --- I like it better than the first two (my son likes the first one better because of the movie I think). We all can't wait to read the next one. Don't miss out. Once we have read more, we plan to watch the movie, Return to Oz which is based in part on this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 1999
I've been incredibly blessed to grow up in a family where reading was encouraged. I read all types of books as a kid: The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte's Web, and everything by Judy Blume. My favorite fantasy series has always been L. Frank Baum's Oz novels. While the 1939 musical is the most famous incarnation of the land of Oz, it isn't the be all end all. Baum's Oz is far from sugary with elements of danger, comedy, and adventure. You really feel like you're in the story alongside the characters.

Released in 1907, Ozma of Oz is the 3rd installment of the series, but only the 2nd to feature famed heroine Dorothy Gale. The stress of Dorothy's first disappearance to Oz and mortgaging the farm in order to rebuild has done a number on Uncle Henry's health. Needing some much needed R&R, Henry and his niece board a steamship headed toward Australia to visit some relatives. A violent storm arrives and sweeps our spunky girl off the deck, but she manages to find shelter in a chicken coop.

She wakes up the next morning to find herself floating in the middle of the sea with a friendly chicken by the name of Billina (originally Bill, but Dorothy found it too masculine for a hen) as her only companion. Once ashore, Dorothy learns they're not in the land of Oz, but a neighboring "fairy country" called Ev.

The girl and her sassy hen befriend Tik-Tok, a round mechanical man with 3 separate windings that activate his thought, action, and speech, before joining forces with Princess Ozma and her army to save the Queen Ev and her 10 children from the evil clutches of the underground dwelling tyrant The Nome King. Beloved characters like the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion are back too.

Ozma of Oz (along with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) is my favorite of the series. Most of all because I love Billina. Honey, that hen tells it like it is and says it like she means it. She's no nonsense with the most common sense of the bunch. Tik-Tok is lovable as well, even though he's an emotionless robot. His fearlessness and protective behavior towards Dorothy and Billina are admirable.

Not only is the story captivating, the illustrations are striking and brightly colorful. Replacing TWWOO illustrator W. W. Denslow (whom Baum had a falling out with), John R. Neill's renderings are faithful to the original, but Dorothy gets a total makeover. Gone is the chubby 6 year old with the classic thick braids. Miss Gale is now slightly older, slimmed down, and sporting a cute blonde bob. Still as courageous, curious, and headstrong as ever though. Princess Langwidere, a vain head swapping narcissist, is fashioned after the Gibson Girl drawings of the early 20th century. While the Nome King of Return to Oz was an enormous sized rock figure, the book's version gives him a smaller, more elfish look. Think Danny DeVito.

The only con I found is that some of the subject matter might be a bit too much for the really little ones. One of the characters commits suicide and while it's nothing gruesome or gory and only a small part of the story, some parents might object to their kids reading that. Other than that, kick back and enjoy.
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