Book Review: The Wizard of Oz

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 Ozbecause I loved it so much.

Book Review: The Wizard of OzThe 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
Format: Audiobook

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.

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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!

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Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 3.25.00 PM 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. 

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  1. This is one of my favorite books. And you’re so right. The characters are very rich, not your typical children’s book characters. The prose is so incredible. I love how the opening scene is described so much, and the world building is amazing. I loved Judy Garland in the movie. I loved her in every movie she was in though. I love the sound of her voice. I have a lot of love for this book and Judy. ?

    1. Hahaha this comment cracks me up. You do have a lot of love for the book and Jusy ?. I’m so glad I finally read it- it was just so much more than I expected!! Did you read the books the follow this one?

      1. No, I only read the first one. I always wanted to read the series but never got around to it. You have no idea how much I love Judy. I used to run around the house when I was younger singing all of her songs. My mom said I was an old soul. Lol. Have you ever seen the movie Meet Me In St. Louis? That’s another Judy fave. ? I love Baum’s prose. It’s so beautiful how he describes everything.

  2. Great review! I’ve never read this book, but now I’ve added it to my TBR! I’m not the biggest fan of the movie, but your review makes the book sound wonderful and a must read.

  3. I’ve watched the movie and absolutely loved it, but I haven’t really had that push to read the book. But your review makes me want to give it a try – it sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  4. Oddly enough, I still haven’t read this, despite having seen the movies more times than I’m comfortable admitting, haha.

    Your review does make me want to get myself a copy of it, though!

  5. I’ve never read this one! Although I loved the original movie so much as kid – I think I will have to get myself a copy. I’m definitely wanting to read more classics 🙂 Thanks for sharing!