The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-01 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 688 user ratings

" Delightful and fantastic. My knowledge of the book had come from the 1939 film and from reading the revisionist version Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.Neither of these are very close to the original classic by author L. Frank Baum. I can well understand why this popular story resulted in so many sequels and a successful career for Mr. Baum. " said.

"4.5 stars

The Wizard of Oz is the timeless tale of a young girl named Dorothy from a drab Kansas who is transported by a cyclone to the colorful and magical land of Oz. From the moment Dorothy's house lands in Oz, her only desire is to return to Kansas and her Aunt Em. Along the way to the Emerald City to get help from the Wizard, she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion, and they accompany her with hopes of receiving their own requests.

The story is simply written with imaginative creatures and wonderful adventures. Of course, I spent most of my time reading mentally citing the differences between the novel and the iconic film. This is one instance where the movie took the best parts of the book and omitted weaker parts and improved upon it. A few differences include Dorothy's silver slippers. In the end of the book, there is no ambiguity about the fact the Dorothy's journey to Oz was physical and not a dream. Finally, the memorable movie line of "There's no place like home" is actually "Take me home to Aunt Em" in the book.

This is a beautiful tale of friendship and inner strength. Symbolism abounds, and the theme that really stood out to me was that of perception versus reality. The Wizard is a complete fraud, and the Emerald City is an illusion. Before entering the City, one must put on spectacles to supposedly protect his eyes from the brilliance. However, the lenses are green, and the people inside the Emerald City have worn glasses so long that they believe the city is really green. Another example of this reality versus perception is the fact that the Scarecrow who wants a brain is the character that comes up with the best ideas, the Tin Woodman needs a heart but weeps when he steps on a bug, and the Cowardly Lion who doesn't believe he has courage is the most courageous. Even though these characters already posses these qualities, the Wizard fashions physical proofs of these to convince them.

Memorable quote:

"On, no, my dear, I'm really a very good man; but I'm a very bad Wizard I must admit."

" said.

"I had not only watched the well known Wizard of Oz movie with Judy Garland first, but I'd also read the Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, as well as seen the Broadway musical of Wicked, before getting a chance to read this classic. Well, that's not entirely true, when I was young, my grandfather had started to read the book to me and my brother, but unfortunately we never finished it before my brother and I grew too old to be patient while someone read to us. At any rate, watching the movie, and reading the other perspective, and seeing the Broadway adaption of that other perspective colored my view on the book when I finally did read it.

While I am used to Hollywood just bending and rewriting everything to suit their needs first before even considering to be respectful of the story, I really was absolutely amazed by how different the story was compared to the movie. It also amazed me, and gave me a new respect for Gregory Maguire as I saw how many things he did in his book to not only nod to the original book, but respect the twist Hollywood gave it when they did their treatment.

This book is a good choice to read to children when they're starting to learn how to sit still for longer periods of time, or if a grandparent or relative wants a book they can read a chapter at a time to a child when they see them. When they get older, it's also interesting to start showing them how Hollywood changes things when making movies, and even changed, it can still be a well respected classic.
" said.

" Before reading this I had no idea what this book was about or who the characters were. I only read it because I wanted to read a retelling of it so of course I needed to read the original first. Usually with children books if I don't like them then I say 'I think I would have liked this as a child' but not for this book. I didn't exactly like it now and I don't think I would have liked it as a child. It was an okay book but I won't be picking it up ever again. " said.

"3.5 stars. I was only familiar with the 1939 movie and the musical, The Wiz, and wanted to know what the actual story was. I actually preferred this original text over the popular versions. Dorothy is a little too good for words, making her a not particularly believable person, though she's not objectionable. I like the characterizations of Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Lion here, finding more humour and a certain grimness in their stories not seen in their pop culture iterations. I was surprised also at how much more involved Dorothy's and the others' adventures actually were.
(My favourite words used in this text were "vexed" and "humbug". Vex isn't a word I tend to come across much in current stories anymore.)
This classic was definitely a pleasant surprise.
" said.

"Dorothy is actually a dumpy, doughy backwater farmgirl in this book. She would have grown into a stout, strong-limbed muscular farmers’ wife with no time for things like affection or intercourse, but a damn good head for cornshuckin’ at 99 degrees in the hawt Kansassy summer. So the well-worn epithet ‘no place like home’ is of course a vicious ironic phrase meaning ‘shit, you’d better get outta that backwater Kansas wheat paddy before stupidity, indolence, routine, depression and phenobarbital addiction kills the love inside ya, never mind them talkin’ lions and kooky tinmen honey.’ Having said that, I haven’t read the follow-up novels. Maybe she marries a millionaire. Just further proof that adulthood spoils everything and we peak as humans at thirteen. This was my first time with this novel. Perfect little story, beautifully done." said.

"I read this the first time when I was maybe 10 years old maybe younger, I'm not sure. I read that version over and over till the covers fell off and the first twelve pages were gone. Oddly, i never read all the other OZ books, but I love(ed) this one.

Update: Thanks, I just got a like on my abbreviated review above^.

This was one of the few books I owned as a child (literally one of a few. I had 3 books. Other than that I read Child Craft the World Book Encyclopedia, my dad's collection of Zane Grey westerns and what I could get from the school library of our small country school).

This was my first fantasy novel and I did read it over and over. Of course I built stories about what else may have happened in OZ as I read. Dorthy's adventures (more involved and different from the movie we all know) opened my imagination up.

I did (as noted above) read it until the covers fell off and the first 12 pages were lost my book opened about the time Dorthy was being swept away after a while.

As my kids grew of course I introduced them to OZ, to Dorthy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman...and the Lion. But they went on and read many of the other OZ books I never did.

I think things that last, things that one generation can share with the next...and for that matter the next and the next are great and should be cherished.
" said.

"The story of Dorothy, her little dog Toto and the cyclone that took her from Kansas to the Land of Oz, has been recognised by the Library of Congress as ‘America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale’.

The original book by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900. Since then there have been numerous reprints of the book, plus movies, TV series, and stage shows.

You only have to put ‘Wizard of Oz’ into any search engine and it will bring up many, many sites that sell memorabilia. I wonder though how many of those that collect items, have been to watch the stage shows, and were enthralled by the most iconic of them all, the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland, have actually read the book?

In fact, I wonder how many people realise that ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, is the first book in a series of 14?

This reprint by Alma Classics has stayed true to the original story, including having Dorothy wear the ‘Silver Slippers’ not the ruby coloured ones (these were changed for the 1939 movie to take advantage of the new technicolor that was used).

After you have read the story, there is a section at the back for young readers including:-

– Information about the author
– About the Book
– About the Characters
– Fantasy Worlds in Children’s Fiction

Plus there is also a ‘Test Yourself’ quiz.

The only thing that lets this book down is the lack of illustrations. As this is a children’s book, I would of loved to of seen more than just a small one at the start of each chapter. A full/half page would of brought the story to life, especially if they depicted the such renown characters.

A beautiful book, that children, and adults will love. You will also get to read the original story, including all the sections that have been changed over the years – well I don’t remember seeing wolves in the movie!!

Reviewed by Stacey on
" said.

November 2017 New Book:

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