Books Magazine

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 – JULY READ – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum

By Bibliobeth @bibliobeth1


What’s it all about?:

Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and a host of other curious creatures come to life as they set out on an exciting quest down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the elusive Wizard. After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great wizard in order to return to Kansas.

What did I think?:

Growing up, the classic 1939 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland was one of my favorite films and I think at one point I watched it on a daily basis! I was really pleased when Chrissi and I chose this book as part of our Kid-Lit challenge for this year as I’ve never actually read the original book, although the cover art with the Lion wearing the green glasses seems very familiar to me. As I was reading, I realised that the book is quite different in comparison to the film, but I still believe it is a fantastic adaptation. For those who haven’t read the book or seen the film (where have you BEEN?) here is a quick summary of the story.

Dorothy Gale  lives in Kansas, described as quite a gray and dreary place with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry and is fairly content with her life there, despite its monotony. However, Kansas is tornado country and when the cyclone hits Dorothy is unable to get to the storm shelter in time and before she realises what is happening the entire house is whisked away to a new land, Oz. Dorothy awakes to a bright, colourful place where she meets the Munchkins, the little people of the country. To her horror, she finds out that her house has landed on the Wicked Witch of the East and killed her, although the Munchkins and the Good Witch of the North are clearly overjoyed at this turn of events.

All Dorothy wants to do is go home to Kansas and she is told if she follows the Yellow Brick Road she will eventually come to the Emerald City where a great Wizard (Oz) may be able to help her. The Good Witch of the North kisses her forehead as a mark of protection and gifts her the pair of silver shoes that the Wicked Witch was wearing, advising her that they are very powerful and to keep them with her. Along the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy manages to make a few friends and useful allies. They are the Scarecrow, who decides to go along with Dorothy and ask Oz for some brains, the Tin Man who dearly wishes for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion who just wants a bit of courage. The friends have quite an adventure along the way but sadly Oz will not grant their wishes until they bring proof that they have killed The Wicked Witch of the West. It is only then that Dorothy will be able to return to Kansas and her beloved aunt and uncle.

I was slightly wary about reading this book, purely because I have so much love for the film. In general, it did not let me down, although I was a bit surprised about the differences between the two. The first glaring contrast is Dorothy’s new shoes being SILVER not ruby, that they do not meet the Wicked Witch of the West until they are required to kill her and there are a greater variety of creatures that the Wicked Witch sends to try and destroy them. Ah well, at least there’s not so much pressure on the Winged Monkeys, I suppose! Without a doubt this story was destined to become a children’s classic and even though it was written in 1900 I think both children and adults will still get a lot out of it and it will remain popular for many years. I fell in love with all the characters once again and thoroughly enjoyed reading about their adventures as they sought their hearts desire.

Please check out Chrissi’s fabulous review on her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):


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