Saturday, September 15, 2012

Book Thoughts - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
published 1900
159 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful fantasy out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, "There′s no place like home."

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powerful Wizard of Oz.

My thoughts:

I’ve owned a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on my shelf for a long time, but only knew the story from the Judy Garland version with the ruby slippers and the musical numbers. Apparently, the novel doesn’t contain either.

There are quite a number of differences between the book and the movie – things were omitted, some scenes were combined and others moved from their original location in the story. It serves to make the novel seem somehow both longer and shorter than the movie – longer because there are more things happening, but shorter because scenes I expect don’t ever arrive.

I found Baum’s style to be charming, and quite comfortable to read. I can easily imagine myself reading this aloud to my kids when they get a little bigger. Baum’s characters are endearing, and I would imagine quite appealing to children. It is easy to understand why this novel has become such a classic.

I definitely enjoyed the reading of this book. It is one I am looking forward to sharing with my kids.

Finished: 9/8/12

Source: my shelves

MPAA rating – G – even the “scary” parts are not really scary

My rating: 8/10

1 comment:

Kristen M. said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story and even more happy that you want to eventually share it with the kids. I think that's the definition of a true classic -- something that can be enjoyed generation after generation.

And I read the book first when I was a kid so I always thought of the book and the movie as separate. They are different enough that they can be enjoyed on their own.

(There's a place to link Oz posts on Estella Society if you want to!)