An energetic and excitable fellow, Baum's devotion to make-believe began in his early 20s, when he joined a small touring theatrical troupe on the East Coast. Later attempts to run a general store and a newspaper in South Dakota (then the Wild West) failed miserably. Although few of his business ventures or artistic efforts had met with success, in 1897 Baum's "Father Goose" rhymes (designed and illustrated by Denslow) became a surprise bestseller, and Baum was able to buy his family a summer cottage on Lake Michigan, christened "The Sign of the Goose," for which he made most of the furniture (goose-themed, of course) and stenciled the walls with a frieze of green geese.
The idea for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "a modern fairy tale," as he considered it, soon followed, and the book appeared in May 1900. The 10,000-copy first printing sold out in two weeks, and about 90,000 sold within the first year. Hearn goes on to describe the many books that followed, as well as the 1902 musical extravaganza The Wizard of Oz and Baum's subsequent, ill-starred attempts to depict the world of Oz on film. (He died long before the 1939 MGM musical made his fairy tale known around the globe.) In 1907, he told a reporter for the Grand Rapids Herald why he preferred young readers:
To write fairy stories for children, to amuse them, to divert restless children, sick children, to keep them out of mischief on rainy days, seems of greater importance than to write grown-up novels. Few of the popular novels last the year out, responding as they do to a certain psychological demand, characteristic of the time; whereas, a child's book is, comparatively speaking, the same always, since children are always the same kind of folks with the same needs to be satisfied.Hearn has gone to great lengths in his notes to this facsimile of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, often referring to subsequent volumes in the series, slowly building a key to the rules and history of Oz, pointing out inconsistencies as well as hints to Baum's literary sources (such as Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress), and providing, among other delights, a mini-treatise on malevolent vegetation in Oz. This is an essential volume for the Oz aficionado or the student of children's literature, and a wonderful resource for parents of young readers. --Regina Marler
Beautifully presented with original graphics.
It is a glorious volume with all of the original illustrations by W. W. Denslow in their original colors, plus many other rare and previously unknown pictures.
It was really one of the very first books that got me interested in reading because the story was so imaginative and timeless.
I bought this because I loved reading these stories and learning about L. Frank Baum. There's just something so original and rich about all of it and also fun seeing the influence... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rastein
Paper is very thin. You can see the back of the page when reading the other.Published 3 months ago by rob obrien
The book was all I expected it to be and was really appreciated by my granddaughter.Published 3 months ago by Mark Crutcher
Will be in my family forever and ever. Must have for any library with or without children.Published 9 months ago by Q. Fields
The paper used is cheap, and you can see through tho the next page. It almost feels like a knockoff made from printer paper. Read morePublished 14 months ago by dmomo
I am enjoying how l frank baum is so descriptive in the pages, we are all used to seeing the movie with Judy Garland i find myself hearing the music while i am reading the wizard... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lisa Mutch