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The Wizard of Oz

New or Used: $6.43
A ferocious tornado catapults a young girl down a yellow brick road and across the paths of Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion. All she really wants is a one-way ticket home, but what she gets is an adventure that will lead her and her newfound friends past the wickedest of witches to a presumably omnipotent Wizard in the glittery, magical, miraculous land of Oz.
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About the Author

L. Frank Baum was born in 1856 in Chittenango, a small town near Syracuse, New York. He wrote many popular books for children, but he is best remembered today for his beloved classic The Wizard of Oz.


PreS-Gr 4-- While not precisely a picture-book version, this title features full-color illustrations on every page and a considerably shortened text. Santore's paintings are striking and they effectively mirror the familiar adventures of Dorothy and her friends. Unfortunately, the abridgment of the text is less successful. Much is made of the fact that few additions were made, leaving much of Baum's language intact. However, the deletion of some descriptive and transitional phrases and of various events creates a text that is much flatter and less engaging than the original. While the brevity and brisk tone do make the story suitable for very young listeners, the danger exists that those who have enjoyed Santore's version will never experience the magic of Baum's complete work. This concern, of course, must be weighed against the fine quality of the artwork and the fact that the book will undoubtedly prove useful in many collections. The decision to include abridged texts rests with each library. For those who do include such items, this Wizard of Oz will be a worthwhile investment. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Santore's illustrations for this new edition of Baum's classic tale work on two levels. They capture the story's epic sweep in numerous colorful landscapes and dramatic tableaux, and they are models of sustained characterization. Though the paintings occasionally lapse into Saturday morning TV cartoon art, they generally evoke the many beloved scenes with verve. In contrast to a rather mundane scarecrow, Santore's cowardly lion is a splendid beast--looming over his companions, lower jaw ever a-quiver. The episodes in the Emerald City are appropriately green-tinted (the book's pages, in fact, are green in these sequences) and cleverly framed by faceted, emeraldlike borders. Unfortunately, the text is abridged, and significant sequences and characters are missing. These cuts have robbed Santore of the chance to realize fully his vision of Oz, and readers of the opportunity to enjoy the story as Baum told it. Morrow's facsimile of the first edition illustrated by W. W. Denslow and Holt's edition illustrated by Michael Hague are better versions of this enduring favorite. All ages. (Sept.)

"Viennese illustrator and Hans Christian Andersen Medalist Lisbeth Zwerger takes a fresh look at L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz in a large-format edition. Zwerger's fantastical, delicate, eccentric illustrations bear no resemblance to the vision of the movie; they make the classic tale new again." - Publishers Weekly

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