Thursday, August 1, 2013

Magical, Wonderful Wizard of Oz

It is most appropriate for me to post a review of this particular book today. Not only is this the book's "birthday", but it is also my sweet cousin Charlotte's birthday!

We are Wizard of Oz fanatics. We LOVE everything Oz! Her nickname is WWW (Wicked Witch of the West) and I am WWE (Wicked Witch of the East). Our children are the flying monkeys ~ very appropriate when you actually KNOW our children. Last weekend was our annual family reunion and we were able to spend a great deal of time together laughing, talking, shopping, and taking pictures. We had a blast!
Friday, July 26, 2013

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz Beth Bracken has presented a wonderful adaptation of this classic story. Using original film stills and portions of dialogue from the screenplay by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf, Bracken has created a thirty-four page picture book for young children to enjoy over and over again. From the opening black and white photo of Dorothy Gale to the final page showing the beautiful ruby slippers all of the favorite images of the movie have been incorporated into this picture book.
The Wizard of Oz
adapted by Beth Bracken

The only complaint I have about the book is the abrupt ending. If you have seen the movie as many times as I have, you know Dorothy makes it back home to Kansas after repeating, "There's no place like home." However, if this is a child's introduction to this masterpiece you are sadly left wondering. Following this famous statement appears the words, "The End". There are fabulous images of Dorothy reuniting with her family in Kansas that could have easily been used at the end of this book to show she actually does make it back home. I'm sure Bracken had her reasons for not including this important element. Be that as it may, I don't feel this is as reassuring an ending as the original version from the movie where she awakens to find Aunt Em and Uncle Henry by her side or the book where she lands in her stocking feet in the open prairie runs to Aunt Em's welcoming arms.

As an aficionado of all things Oz, overall I like this book. I love the fact the stills from the original movie have been incorporated. It is a nice introduction to one of my all time favorite books. The series of books (fourteen in all) were written for children twelve and over. To have a version that can be enjoyed by younger readers is fantastic, in my opinion. I would hope by reading this adaptation at an early age and having an appreciation for the characters, and not being afraid of the flying monkeys and witches, the children will be more likely to pick up the original at an older age and enjoy the adventure, excitement, and charm of L. Frank Baum's writing.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Capstone Press, has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes through

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