Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

I read this book now because I had never read it before and am trying to work my way through the classics. I love the movie, I’ve probably watched it close to a hundred times and my love for it hasn’t diminished since my first time watching it when I was three. I thought the book would be just like the movie, the movie plot isn’t too complex so I thought it just followed the book, but only the bare bones of the book made it into the movie. The book has so much more happening. Dorothy and Toto are taken away by a cyclone and their house is dropped onto The Wicked Witch of the East and then Dorothy has to walk the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to meet the wizard. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion. She kills The Wicked Witch of the West. This is the only way the book is similar to the movie. I know that sounds exactly the same but what happens in between all of that differs quite a bit. I was surprised but really quite happy to be given more details about the land, the characters, and to not know what was going to happen next. The book was written in 1900, but it doesn’t feel that old at all. I feel like it could have been written much more recently. I flew through the pages and loved being back in Oz. I didn’t think I would ever get to experience it all as brand-new again so I cherished every page. For a 116 year old story that I thought I knew this was such a treat. I worry that I may not watch the movie in the same way again… some of the changes were pretty drastic. But this being a classic, from so long ago, that inspired such a long-lasting, and well-loved movie – I think everyone should read it. My book was a Puffin Classic and called it the first American fairy tale. I never thought of it that way before but, to think of it, it is the only American fairy tale that I can think of (even though majority of the book, and all its appeal, is set in Oz) and for that reason alone I think it deserves a read.

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