alice grass

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum- Review

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is an amazing classic!  I am so surprised I hadn't read it before now.  We are reading it in my Young Adult Book Club this month and discussing how great it is.  Here is the goodreads description:

Join Dorothy Gale, Toto, and all of her friends as they explore the incredible land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is American's most enduring fairy tale. From the moment Dorothy puts on the silver slippers (changed to ruby slippers by MGM to take advantage of their new advance in movie making: color) until the moment she clicks her heels and returns home to Kansas you will be swept away and captivated by her extraordinary story.

This is my first time reading The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Shocking! I am so glad I read it. It really is a wonderful tale. Full of great characters and plots. Baum creates a wonderful world. I will for sure be carrying onto the other novels in the series. I am glad too that in the book Oz is not a dream. I can't stand when books/movies do that. You go the whole way only to find out it was all fake! The silver shoes in the book/red shoes in the movie has always bothered me too. I guess it was because they were trying to make use out of the movie being in color. Also the characters have to wear goggles with green lenses in Oz so that everything looked green. Even after the Wizard left people continued to wear them. If the Wizard left I would quit wearing those goggles!  The Wicked Witch of the West is clearly not a big villain like in the movie. In the movie we know she is chasing Dorthy the whole time. The monkeys are EVIL and scary. In the book they were so friendly and just really wanted to be freed. I really enjoyed finding out their back story. I did think the story ended a little abrupt. Was a series planned? Or did the author just want to write this one book? One thing I LOVE LOVE about the movie is that Kansas is in black and white and OZ is in color. Very very clever!

I wish that by the end of the book the characters had found out that the Wizard gave them fake items and that in the end they had the heart, courage, and brains in them all along. I think that would've been a better moral to the story. As readers though I suppose since we know that items are fake the moral still comes across. Just think of how many people the Wizard faked out?

The characters are really neat. I wish that I hadn't seen the movie prior to reading this. Because the movie is so dominant in our culture I of course pictured the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man just like I saw them in the movie. The Wicked Witch of the West only has one eye? Who knew? The later OZ books now intrigue me.. what are they even about? Can't wait to find out. The China town in this book really interested me. I didn't even know about it till the movie Oz the Great and Powerful (the one that just came out). They did a fantastic job of bringing china town to life. The Wizard is the most intriguing character to me. Is he a bad man or a good man? He ended up in the circumstances he did by accident but did he do the best he could in the situation? The four witches are also interesting to me. Two evil, two good. It seems the only way the can gain/lose power is by being killed. 

I am interested in reading more into the series and see where it goes. I love the art in the edition of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz I have pictured above.  The artist is Michael Sieben and I first heard about this book through Huffington post.  What do you think of OZ?  Do you have any favorite retellings? 

 The crystal ball says:

Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!



  1. I've not read Wizard of Oz either! I think the movie is so much a part of our culture that I've never felt the need to, but I really should because I am curious about all the changes from the original. And the rest of the series seems interesting as well!

    1. It's not very long. You could read it in an afternoon probably. I am interested in what happens in the rest of the Oz books. I think the characters from the first book only appear every now and then, so the whole series isn't about them. It's about the land of Oz.

  2. It's been a long time since I've read this book. I kind of want to go back and read it and the other books in the series! There were so many of them!

    1. There are a lot of books in the series!! Like 14 in the original series and then now there are other series to go along with it. One of the series I think it written by Baum great grandson.

  3. I haven't read this either! I do hope you link it in to Books You Loved over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

    1. I hadn't heard of this. Checking it out.


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