I always feel a little bit ridiculous reviewing classics (it’s not like the fact that they were published years ago and today are sitting in the front of bookstores selling like hot cakes means anything at all), but I thought I had to write a short blurb about L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, because I loved it so much.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, W.W. Denslow
Series: Oz #1
Published by Penguin on January 1st 1970
Genres: Children's Classic, Fantasy, Classic Literature
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 3 hours and 58 minutes
Follow the yellow brick road!
Dorothy thinks she's lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival - will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?
I knew very little about the book prior to reading it (for example: I didn’t know it was just the first in a big series, and I didn’t know her shoes were actually SILVER OMG I GREW UP WITH LIES). Everything I knew was from the movie.
1) wonderful, 2) a bizarre menagerie, 3) oddities of travel
And per usual, the book completely blew the movie out of the water. Guys, it’s so much better. Here’s why:
1) Adventure: There’s so much more to the story than going to the Emerald City and melting the Wicked Witch of the West. There’s a whole slew of adventure and places that they travel! I had no idea!
2) More than a kid’s book: The story is very clever with a lot of adult undertones. My favorite parts of the book were easily everything about the “heartless” tin man, the “cowardly” lion, and the “brainless” scarecrow. They are fantastic characters.
3) Detail: It’s the details of this book that really make it superior (and why movies almost always will pale in comparison to their book counterpart). It’s such an imaginative and bizarre world that Baum created. Truthfully, it’s worth the read just to see what crazy things his mind came up with.
I wanted this review to be really short and me saying: READ THIS BOOK. But It went on a little longer. Oops.
Bottom line: If your childhood also failed you and you haven’t read this yet, I would definitely recommend you do it ASAP. It’s super short, poignant, and so dang fun!
Have you read this? Have you read the books that follow in this series? What other children’s classics do you love?
PS: I listened to the audiobook, and OMGoodness the narrator (Tavia Gilbert) had the cutest and most perfect voice for a children’s novel. Loved every minute of it! I almost wonder if I liked this more as the audiobook than I would have had I read it.
PPS: The entire Wicked soundtrack was playing through my head as I read this book. I’m actually listening to it as I type this review.