‘I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.’
‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum . It was published in 1900, and has since become one of the most popular children’s books of all time. It has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the extremely popular, highly acclaimed 1939 film version by MGM.
The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. It is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been translated into many languages. Due to the huge success of the book, Baum wrote thirteen more books set in the Land of Oz with Dorothy appearing in most of them.
Dorothy is an orphan raised by her uncle and aunt in a Kansas farm. She has a little black dog Toto, who is her sole companion and only source of happiness. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, is caught up in a cyclone and is set down in a field in Munchkin Country in the magical Land of Oz. The falling house kills the ruler of the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the East.
To return home, Dorothy must find the Great Wizard of Oz, destroy the Wicked Witch of the West, and travel even further, to the powerful Good Witch of the South. Fortunately, Dorothy finds new friends and loyal companions, a Scarecrow without a brain, a Tin Woodman without a heart and a Cowardly Lion, to accompany her on her quest to the Emerald City and beyond.
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
Lyman Frank Baum was an American author of children’s books. He is best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Before starting his writing career, he had tried his hand at numerous ventures, from poultry farmer to theater impresario, yet it was only when he began to write children’s stories that he became successful. He was a prolific writer and has written 14 Oz books, nine other fantasy novels, more than 30 novels, 82 short stories, over 200 poems, and many more.
“A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a story of striving, courage, determination, and optimism. Dorothy is the personification of youthful enterprise and resourcefulness: a girl in a strange land who finds her way home and establishes true friendships in the process. It is also a powerful story of illusion and showmanship: the Wizard is not a real magician, but a showman who spreads happiness through benign deception.
“I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a spellbinding story filled with excitement. The Land of Oz is beautiful, with its happy Munchkins and dazzling Emerald City, but there are also Winged Monkeys, witches, wolves and deadly poppy fields which poison the unwary.
“You people with hearts,” he said, “have something to guide you, and need never do wrong.”
This is a must read book for all—both children and adults. In my opinion you will be missing a lot if you don’t read the book and watch the movie.
- Author: L. Frank Baum
- Illustrator: Scott McKowen
- Publisher: Sterling
- Year: 2005
- ISBN: 9781402725043
- Cover & Page Count: Hardcover, 176 pages
Note: The cover image shown is that of the book published by Folio Society.