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The Marvelous Land of Oz Hardcover – September 29, 2010
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BUT. It is all in the formatting. This review is for the Eltanin Publishing editions, which as of this writing has done the second and third books of the series (Marvelous Land and Ozma). They have done a masterful job in these two efforts.
It is all about the illustrations. I prefer my kids to read books on our iPad. But, for books with illustrations, I have them read the paper versions instead. I haven't forgotten the illustrations, even so many years later, of the books I read as a child. And so I want my children to have the same experience.
So the test for whether a children's ebook makes the cut for me is in the quality of the pictures. For books like the Oz series, books that are in the public domain, this means how well a job did the editor do formatting the text and scanning the illustrations. Results vary widely. Always "download the sample" if you are buying them here at Amazon.
Another thing to consider: did the editor include ALL the illustrations. Perhaps some were omitted, on a rush job. These "editors" are taking things from the public domain, formatting them, and selling them for a couple bucks. Fine. But are they doing a good job? Are they being thorough?
I am very picky about this. I want my kids to have ALL the pictures, every one. Otherwise we will just read the paper book.
But for the Oz books, there is one additional wildcard. Even some very fine versions on Project G still omit a particular kind of illustration: the "first-word-in-the-chapter" illustration.Read more ›
Baum creates a marvelous cast of new characters to interact with the three familiar ones mentioned above. Central to this story is Tip, a young boy whose unhappy life with a mean witch will probably remind some readers of Harry Potter's less-than-ideal home life with the Dursleys. Tip's escape from the clutches of the witch Mombi is the start of a fantastic adventure that leads him to the fabulous Emerald City, to an encounter with an all-female army led by a bold conqueress, and to relationships with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and a host of equally fantastic beings.
The new characters are really great, but probably my favorite is Jack Pumpkinhead, an artificially-constructed, pumpkin-headed being brought to life by magic. Jack has a childlike innocence that I found quite endearing. Also memorable is the ornery but courageous Saw-Horse, another magical being.
There is a curious undercurrent of subversive gender politics to the book; although the main party of adventurers are male, the most powerful characters in the book are ultimately its female characters (both heroic and villainous). And one jaw-dropping plot twist (which I will not ruin by revealing!) furthers this theme.
This book is quite simply a wonderfully delightful story, well-told by Baum and superbly complemented by John R. Neill's whimsical illustrations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it's a classic that I'm sharing with a 4th grade weekly reading group. the girls are very attentive.Published 21 days ago by Christine J.
Okay, All I have to say is the writing sometimes gets a bit confusing, but for the most part this story was a joy to read. I even giggled at some points out loud. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fease
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz went over well with my five-year-old son, so he chose this one to read together at bedtime. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ryan McSwain
These Marvel Oz books are faithful to Baum's original books, the art is perfect for the stories. I absolutely love this franchise and can't recommend it enough.Published 5 months ago by happygolucky
We travel back to Oz for the adventures of Tip, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, Scarecrow and Tinman, now known as Nick Chopper as his name has been revealed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lachtna
I read this book when I was a child. It was a pleasure to read it again. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasyPublished 5 months ago by E. Todd
A little darker than I remembered.
And I don't know, I think kids these days are used to more sanitized, neatly-packaged tales. Boo. Read more