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Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Penguin Popular Classics) Paperback – May 25, 1995
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In spite of the fact that L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is one of the most popular stories in America, relatively few people have actually read the book. It's well worth the effort! Young readers expecting rainbows, Munchkin songs, and wicked witches with burning brooms will instead find a complex country populated with mocking Hammerhead men, dainty people made out of china, and fierce monsters with heads of tigers and bodies of bears. Through the fantastic land of Oz ramble Dorothy and her trusty companions--Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion--each seeking his or her heart's desire. Although the premise of the book and the 1939 movie is the same, the book--as so often is the case--delivers a far more subtle and intricate plot. A child's imagination will run rampant in these pages as one extraordinary creature after another leads the motley crew into strange and magical adventures. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
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.
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Top customer reviews
I got this book free from Amazon.com, and it will always be one of the treasures residing in my Kindle for PC application. It may become the same for any reader who chooses it for themselves. The Kindle for PC application can be had for free from Amazon.com as well. Get it and start your own collection of classics such as 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'.
The book is hard cover (10" x 9" and 2 1/2 inches thick) and is well over 500 pages long. Of course it includes the original text by Mr. L. Frank Baum with all of the pictures by the original illustrator for the original 1900 classic, W. W. Denslow. The book is edited by Michael Patrick Hearn and includes a brief preface by Martin Gardner. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" "The Annotated Wizard of Oz" was published in 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company. There is also an annotated edition from the 1970's, too, however the 2000 edition is the definitive one to get.
The cover of the book is like a bright and colorful present. It's almost 3-D. It is a beautiful evergreen and dark golden brown and the pictures just pop out in all different directions.
I like to think of this book as 4 mini books in one. It's a wealth of information that everyone will appreciate because it truly has something for everyone. I do take exception with the editor who stated that this book is for adults; this would make a wonderful gift for a young person, which would start a lifetime of appreciation of Mr. Baum's work.
As a child I was given "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and ever since then I have been a huge fan of it. It was really one of the very first books that got me interested in reading because the story was so imaginative and timeless. I still have that book which I hold dear.
There is a very elaborate introduction which is more than 100 pages long. It describes the background of how the book was first written, as well as the biography of Mr. Baum. It also details the impact that the book had on society, as well as the countless other Oz books, plays, projects and movies, including Judy Garland's 1939 classic.
The introduction features tons and tons of otherwise unpublished and scarcely seen photos, such as the "Father Goose" comic strip. These include early pictures of L. Frank Baum as a child, rarely (if ever) seen promotional pictures and posters put out by the original publisher and even some unusual and unique drawings by W. W. Denslow, which predate "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
This has the original publication of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" right after the introduction. The story was so magical because it reminded me of my childhood. L. Frank Baum had such a way about his writing because he was able to speak to young and old readers alike. The story is both universal and transcends all times and places. I always loved how it ended because it was so simple and of course, ended happily ever after.
The original text is so effortless, yet so complex because instead of writing about things that could scare children, the book is very plot-driven. Something is constantly happening. This is the type of story that you can be proud to share with your child and grandchildren.
The original text also includes all of the first-edition chapters, table of contents and the introduction that was first included. And the original full-page color plates (as well as the color title page) are also printed, too. These are so beautifully illustrated and really articulate this story perfectly. My favorite is the seventh one of Dorothy on the yellow brick road with the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow and Toto.
Mr. L. Frank Baum' vision is actually much different from the '39 movie. I love the movie (it's my very favorite movie, in fact), but the book is not as rushed or hurried. It also describes many things that never took place in the movie, such as the last several chapters.
Interspersed throughout the text are annotations on nearly every other page, about nearly every page. The editor of this book painstakingly went over every single syllable, word, phrase, line, paragraph and page to come up with the cumulative analysis of this classic story that is famous around the world.
We hear from tons of literary scholars in the annotations, including everyone from L. Frank Baum himself to Salmon Rushdie to the author of the Russian version of "The Wizard of Oz" just to name a few. It is fascinating how such a simple story could be broken down into something that is truly complex and incredibly detailed and descriptive and thought-out.
There are also many rare and also unseen pictures throughout the text/annotations. Such as letters and inscriptions that L. Frank Baum wrote and even some early drawings by W. W. Denslow.
After the story ends there is a brief appendix about W. W. Denslow which includes more rarely seen drawings, as well as the story "Adventures of the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and the Little Girl" by Thos. H. Russell.
There are large, full-page, color Oz maps on each of the inside cover pages, on both sides of the book too. And there's a meticulously described bibliography that literally lists every single published work of L. Frank Baum, and much, more besides that.
For whatever reason, it seems like the "Wizard of Oz" seems to be a cottage industry that attracts many greedy and money-motivated people to spit out anything as long as they can get a few shekels for it. But "The Annotated Wizard of Oz" is surely the exception. Although it is not cheap, it is well worth the investment because the stories and pictures, as well as the wealth of information are truly invaluable.
PA Hausfrau says: "Tolles Buch!"