The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. It was originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago in 1900, and has since been reprinted countless times, sometimes under the name The Wizard of Oz. The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1903 Broadway musical Baum adapted from his story, led to Baum's writing and having published thirteen more Oz books. Baum dedicated the book to my good friend & comrade, My Wife, Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901 the publisher, the George M. Hill Company, completed printing the first edition, which probably totaled around 35,000 copies. Records indicate that 21,000 copies were sold through 1900. The original book has been in public domain in the United States since 1956. Baum's thirteen sequels entered public domain in the United States from 1960 through 1986. The rights to these books were held by the Walt Disney Company, and their impending expiration was a prime motivator for the production of the 1985 film Return to Oz, based on Baum's second and third Oz books. Historians, economists and literary scholars have examined and developed possible political interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. - Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Gr 2-7-Baum's much-loved tale of four unlikely friends and their quest to find the Wizard has been subjected to countless retellings and adaptations, many of them just faint shadows of the original. Here, the entire story is enlivened with luminous watercolors. A combination of full spreads and partial page scenes portrays the group's feats and foibles. As he did so successfully in The Wind in the Willows (Harcourt, 2002), Foreman uses his skillful command of color and light to emphasize the story's sense of adventure and enchantment. Readers many feel a need for sunglasses as they come upon the Emerald City. Subtle humorous details, such as the winged monkeys decked out in Red Baron-style goggles, are sure to elicit chuckles. The expressive fumbling scarecrow is the visual star of the quartet. However, the portrayal of a yellow-haired, nondescript Dorothy is a disappointment. Overall, this is an appealing and accessible alternative to the many cartoon versions of this modern classic.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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August 31, 2005
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