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Little Wizard Stories of Oz [Illustrated] Kindle Edition
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The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger
Little Dorothy and Toto
Tiktok and the Nome King
Ozma and the Little Wizard
Jack Pumpinghead and the Sawhorse
The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman
In the first tale, for example, the Lion and Tiger stand as guards for the princess of Oz, but there is no need for guards, for every one acts nicely in Oz. The two tell one another that they are tired of this job because "no one pays attention to us." The tigar says it wants to leave this job and go off and eat fat babies. The lion wants to tear people into chop suey. The two think that this will gain the people's attention and cause the people to fear them. They leave the palace and find a fat baby who is lost. She is looking for her mother. Her mother rushes up to the baby, falls, and hurts her head. Will the tiger eat the fat baby? will the lion tear up the mother? what kind of reputation will the two have after this adventure? will they be satisfied?
The stories are written in simple English and they contain moral lessons for children.
I bought this book along with Roger S. Baum's "Dorothy of Oz" book (see my review) and Greg Hildebrandt's (abridged) illustrated edition of "the Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (I would like to review that).
The pictures are excellent. The chapter-title images are black-and-white, and the rest of the pictures are in full-page colour, sometimes taking over two pages. I liked how the Lion was drawn walking on 2 legs and once wearing a pair glasses on a string. The following chapters (once individual book titles) are as follows:
'The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger' are tired of constantly being known for their cowardliness/hunger and therefore not being feared, so they decide to go out and make themselves be feared. But Tiger refuses to eat a baby who has lost its mother, and Lion refuses to hurt a mother who hurts herself while trying to save her baby, so they change their minds.
'Little Dorothy and Toto' take a walk through Oz (despite the Wizard's disapproval of concern) and result in getting captured by the Giant Crinklink and are taken to his castle. Toto saves Dorothy and reunites with the Wizard.
'Tik-Tok and the Nome King'. Tik-Tok's machinery needs a few extra springs and the Wizard suggests for him to go to the Nome King, who unfortunately is in a bad mood and accidently destroys Tik-Tok. But Kaliko, the Chief Steward, fixes Tik-Tok up. His reappearance scares the Nome King (that was funny!), but Tik-Tok explains the situation and he returns to Oz, with jewels for Princess Ozma by the Nome King.
'Ozma and the Little Wizard' go through Oz making sure everything is fine, and come upon three mischievous Imps (named Olite, Udent and Ertinent) who are constantly causing trouble. The Imps take on enchanted forms and constantly attack Ozma and Wizard, until he overpowers them, with a plan to stop them from making further trouble.
'Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw-Horse' are sent by Ozma to rescue 2 children lost in a forest. They find the children, but the Squirrel King refuses to let them go. As Jack sets the children free he looses his head, but the Saw-Horse manages to get them out and the Wizard gives Jack a new pumpkinhead.
'The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman' ride in a little boat along a forest stream, but Nick Chopper falls into the bottom of the sea, so Scarecrow does whatever he can to get his friend out, even with the help of some mischievous crows. Once they're out of the water, the Wizard appears to give them a helping hand.
I found the story of the Lion and the Tiger very helpful because it made me realize and understand the Lion's "Cowardly" term, as many times I wondered why afterwards he couldn't be called the 'Courageous Lion'. I loved reading these adventures and was amused by the book itself because true to its "Little" title, this book is published in a size which is smaller than the other Oz Books of Wonder, AND the Wizard himself appears in almost all 6 Stories (thus the 'Little Wizard' title).
However there are a few mistakes: the Lion has a red bow instead of blue and Ozma's gown changes from sleeveless to long sleeves. Also, the Tin Woodman still manages to talk even when he's rusted at the bottom of the water. It should also be noted, that since these stories were first published as 6 short books, they of course had different covers than now shown (which can also be seen in the 'Oz Project; Books of Oz' Site). I would have liked (and wished) to see the original book covers reprinted here as full-colour chapter title pages before the story begins on the next page or as the endpapers. In this book, the endpapers of the Scarecrow riding Lion's back and Tin Woodman on Tiger's back are orginially from 'the Patchwork Girl of Oz', but without the orginal background with a castle.
Another good thing about this book was the Afterward saying what makes the next book, "the Patchwork Girl of Oz" so worth reading (which I would like to get soon).
Mike LaMontagne, author of The Wizard of Oz: Dark Witch Rising Trilogy Rainbow's Emissary (The Wizard of Oz: Dark Witch Rising) Witch Hunt (The Wizard of Oz: Dark Witch Rising)