Gr. 4-up, younger for reading aloud. As Mark Evan Swartz comments in Oz: Before the Rainbow
[BKL O 15 00], L. Frank Baum's The
Wonderful Wizard of Oz "occupies a unique position in the cultural fabric of this country." Editor Peter Glassman (Oz: The Hundredth
Anniversary Celebration) calls the story "quintessentially American." Yet it has a universal appeal--which may account for its translation into many different languages. Although children are often first introduced to the Land of Oz by the classic 1939 movie, the original novel and its many sequels have enchanted both young and old over the years. Published for the centennial, several new books commemorate the beloved story. Readers unacquainted with Oz are sure to find a pleasing version; readers who already know the story will find something to delight them all over again.In Oz: The Hundredth Anniversary Celebration,
Peter Glassman presents art and words from children's book authors and illustrators who are big fans of Oz and here pay homage to "the enchanted land that inspired them and helped shape their imaginations." The paintings, in each artist's recognizable style, lovingly convey the essence of Oz, making this truly wonderful. Contributions come from Tomie dePaola, who imagines himself going down the yellow brick road instead of Dorothy; Paul O. Zelinsky, who shared the Oz experience with his children; Uri Shulevitz, who escaped from hunger and war during the 1940s in the pages of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
; Richard Egielski, whose childhood defense against the ghastly flying monkeys was to lie absolutely still in bed; Natalie Babbitt, Peter Sis, Bruce Degen, Lloyd Alexander, and many others. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF).Then there's Robert Sabuda's extraordinary pop-up version. On the first double-page spread, the fearful cyclone whirls up to loom over the tiny farm house in Kansas; in the next spread, the house stands squarely on top of the Wicked Witch of the East. And so it goes, spread after spread. The story itself is condensed and told on foldout booklets attached to the pages. The standout pop-ups are prints created from cut blocks of linoleum, with sparkling touches of colored foil that add pizzazz. Sabuda's art evokes that of Denslow, including the silver, rather than ruby, slippers, and once again, his mastery of his craft enhances and enchants. A good selection for story hours.Also now available is Henry Holt's reissue of its 1982 version of the book, with artwork by the well-known children's book illustrator Michael Hague. It contains several new pictures and a slightly longer profile of Baum. It's certainly not an essential purchase, but it's a gorgeous edition for collections that don't have the earlier volume.Last, but certainly not least, is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,
the "100th Anniversary Edition," part of the HarperCollins Books of Wonder imprint. For those who want the look and feel of the 1900 publication, this fills the bill. It's a very handsome facsimile, printed on high-quality paper and containing all of W. W. Denslow's 24 original colorplates and 130 two-color drawings. Long live Dorothy and her stalwart companions. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 and received enormous, immediate success. Baum went on to write seventeen additional novels in the Oz series. Today, he is considered the father of the American fairy tale. His stories inspired the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz, one of the most widely viewed movies of all time.
Michael Sieben is a professional designer and illustrator, primarily within the sub-culture of skateboarding, whose work has been exhibited and reviewed worldwide as well as featured in numerous illustration anthologies. He is a staff writer and illustrator for Thrasher magazine, and a weekly columnist for VICE.com. He is also a founding member of Okay Mountain Gallery and Collective in Austin, Texas, as well as the cofounder of Roger Skateboards. The author of There's Nothing Wrong with You (Hopefully), he lives and works in Austin.
W[illiam] W[allace] Denslow was born in Philadephia in 1856. Famous for his bold, colorful illustrations for many popular turn-of-the-century children's books, he is best remembered today as the original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz