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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics) Paperback – May 20, 1996
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An updated version of the definitive guide, The Annotated Wizard of Oz provides a facsimile color version of the first edition of L. Frank Baum's children's classic along with extensive notes and a thorough history of the immense Oz project. In his excellent introduction, Michael Patrick Hearn describes the author's early life and interests and the development of his collaboration with W.W. Denslow, the original illustrator for his books.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Viennese illustrator and Hans Christian Andersen Medalist Lisbeth Zwerger takes a fresh look at L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz in a large-format edition. Zwerger's fantastical, delicate, eccentric illustrations bear no resemblance to the vision of the movie; they make the classic tale new again. And readers can view the Emerald City through a pair of green-tinted glasses, provided in the back of the book.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
WRITTEN BY: L. Frank Baum
PUBLISHED: May, 1900
There really isn't much more to say than has already been offered a thousand time over. This book is a timeless classic. I just read it to my son and can confirm that the story is touching for all ages. He's five, I'm thirty-seven, and we enjoyed it together. My parents love it, grandparents love it, etc. There are not a lot of fiction works that are appealing to so wide an audience. If you don't know the basic story, according to the movie at least, your childhood was a sham. The book includes additional passages and adventures which were left out of the MGM film; it's also darker and more violent than the movie... and lacks the songs.
Five out of Five stars
This was a fun story, the pictures are a little strange and my children (ages 3 & 6) had lots of comments about them, the picture of the cover is a pretty good representation of what the pictures in the book are like. This was a very high quality book, it has almost 300 pages and is nicely bound.
It was almost exactly what I was looking for, I need something with larger print, so it is easier to read out-loud to my children and something with lots of pictures that would give them something to look at while I read. The only problem with it is the pictures are just a little too weird sometimes, my kids don't seem to mind and I guess everything doesn't need to be stereotypical Disney cute, but could they have found a Dorothy doll that was a little less ugly?
The book and the movie deviate from each other quite a bit, but both include essentially the same story. I'm glad the movie didn't try to copy the book directly, and changed some parts to not only fit the limits it had, but to make the whole story more movie-esque - like really jazzing up Munchkin Land and making it smaller than the book implied it was. (Dorothy is of the same height as the Munchkins in the book.)
One thing in the book that I thought was really cool was that the Wizard of Oz shows himself in multiple forms, not just the big head. He's even a lady at one point. Also I like the hammer-head guys at the end of the book. L. Frank Baum really showed me his creative abilities there.
On a side note, there are some violent scenes in the book, particularly involving multiple beheadings at a time.
I really think that if you only see the movie and don't read the book, you're missing out. This book contains the REAL Tinman, and the REAL Scarecrow. The ones from the movie are just copies. Darn good copies, but still copies. Oh, the things a good book from a good author can inspire!
The story is pretty faithful to the original, book not the movie. Eric Shanower does a great job of condensing the novel into comic book format which can sometimes lead to a lot of stuff getting cut out, but not much has been left out here.
The art on this book is top-notch! Skottie Young's offbeat style is perfect for the land of Oz! The character designs for Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion are unlike anything we have ever seen before.
As I said before, my daughter begs me to read this book to her still. It has helped her learn to read and has reinforced her excitement for reading! More so than any other thing that I can think of is the highest praise I can give to a book!