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The Wizard of Oz Hardcover – Abridged, October 6, 2009

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Santore’s many awards include the Society of Illustrators Award of Excellence, the prestigious Hamilton King Award, and the Alumni Award of the Philadelphia College of Art. His work has been exhibited in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and among the classic tales he has illustrated are Aesop’s Fables, The Fox & the Rooster, The Little Mermaid, and Snow White.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Abridged edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402766254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402766251
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Reader from California on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The author has done a terrific job adapting the book to this format, which requires some abridging and editing. Almost all of the important details of the story are left intact and almost all of the text in the book is taken straight from the original (rather than re-written and overly edited). The illustrations are phenomenal and as a fan of the original I loved having this version to introduce the story to my very young child. A FAR superior re-telling of this story than the film version which barely resembles the original book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By pateacher on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this book is a must-have for any collector of children's story books. The first impression of some at my granddaughter's 5th birthday party was that it was much too wordy for her at this age. After her party, she asked me to read it to her, and I expected her to be quickly bored or easily drawn away. But the text draws the listener right in to the story and it differs from the movie version somewhat, but is still recognizable as the story unfolds. She listened for at least 15 minutes before deciding "we'll stop right here" until the next read. It is unique and makes a wonderful, treasured gift for a child or any Wizard of Oz fan. I'd consider it of "collectible" quality. It arrived sooner than expected, which was one of the best parts.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zaneta D. Padilla on April 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the story of the Wizard of Oz, and want to introduce my daughter to this. The illustrations in this book are just beautiful. Those and the story keep my 4 year old interested in the story the whole time. it's a long story so it takes several nights to read, but she's interested every single session.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on September 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Wizard of Oz

This is a condensed version of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" written by Lyman Frank Baum in 1900. The illustrations are by Charles Santore. This American Fairy Tale became a children's classic. [Did you read it as a child?] Michael Patrick Hearn wrote the `Introduction'. This condensation required the elimination of parts of the story (p.9). I think this 90-page book echoes the events of the late 19th century for its meanings.

Dorothy lived on the Kansas prairie with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em(ma). [Were her parents the victims of a plague?] One day they saw a cyclone (tornado) coming towards them. [A symbol for the Great Depression of 1893?] This cyclone transported the house with Dorothy and her dog Toto to a beautiful country. [Like a migration to Oregon?] The death of the Wicked Witch of the East freed the Munchkins. [The symbol for Wall Street Corporations?] Dorothy put on those silver shoes [representing silver coinage?] to travel the yellow brick road to Emerald City. [Does this represent Greenback dollars?] She walked past abundant farms. She meets a Scarecrow. [Representing landless laborers?] Next she meets the Tin Woodman. [Representing lumber jacks?] His joints need oiling. The Wicked Witch of the East prevented him from marrying. They all travel through the thick woods. [Symbolizing the Great Depression of the 1890s?] They meet a powerful but cowardly Lion. [Symbolizing the Federal Government or President?] Next they pass through a field of red poppies which have a soporific effect. [Symbolizing drug use or another opiate?] Field mice rescue the Lion from the flowers of evil. [Why aren't the mice affected?]

They reach Emerald City. [Green symbolized the common people in Roman times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Peach on July 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I say anything about the book itself, I want to point out that: This version is a VERY condensed one compared to L. Frank Baums' original book written in 1900 which is surprisingly much more gruesome and darker than many may know or realize! Charles Santore's version is illustrated like a miraculous opera, but as a result, also abridged.

(As many of the original fairytales and children's fantasy stories are, a few of it's dark themes had to be unfortunately dropped.)

Society has been brainwashed into believing the Land of Oz is a happy, cheerful, colorful place. A candy coated Technicolor dream world of Dorothy due to the Judy Garland film that consisted of painted cardboard backgrounds for scenery and dare I say, HORRIBLE miscasting!

While Baum on the otherhand intended his Dorothy to be a little girl no older than twelve. And Oz to be a place that truly does exist, an uncharted and uncivilized realm where magical and marvelous things are possible. A place where men can cut off their limbs and have them replaced with tin ones: the back story of the Tinman is shockingly gory for a children's book. A backstory that the 1939 film chose to leave out.

Several elements, adventures, characters and places are left out such as the flesh eating Kalidahs, and the small enclave known as China Country, inhabited by the little living china people of Oz. And not to mention that in Baums' book the Tin Woodman also cuts off the heads of several animals such as a wild cat and fourty of the Wicked Witch of the West's Killer Wolves. Yikes!
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