The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a story that many of us know as a movie. For a long time I didn’t know that the movie was based on a book. But what is even better is, there are a whole 15 books! The books are all written by L. Frank Baum in the very early 1900s. I remember watching the movie many times as a kid and I absolutely loved it. Now I get to combine my love of the Wizard of Oz and reading.
The book was quite different from the movie. While they share many of the same ideas the book does not focus on the Kansas life as much. The only characters from the farm were Dorothy, Toto, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry. The book really starts quickly with Dorothy and Toto are whisked away in a cyclone over a dangerous desert into the Land of Oz.
After crushing the Wicked Witch of the East when landing in Oz, Dorothy begins on the journey to Emerald City where the Wizard is. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. She also encounters a species of mice that help her along her journey. When she gets to the Wizard he tasks her with killing the Wicked Witch of the West. The journey to the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West is quite difficult. The group is met with the “evil” flying monkeys sent from the Witch. The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow are both unable to make it to the castle and Dorothy and the Lion are captured. Dorothy becomes a servant to the Witch. By a stroke of luck Dorothy kills the Witch by throwing a bucket of water on her. By killing the witch she also obtains the Golden Cap which gives her power over the Flying Monkeys.
She returns to the Emerald City after collecting the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman. The group learns that the Wizard is merely a humbug who is also from Kansas and was blown in a balloon to the Land of Oz. The Wizard grants the wishes of all of the group except Dorothy. Their wishes aren’t truly granted because the wizard is not a real wizard but he makes them seem like they have been granted. As for Dorothy the wizard offers to return to Kansas with Dorothy in a balloon. Somewhere in the chaos Dorothy is unable to get into the balloon and the wizard is whisked away. The group then travels to the south and visits Glinda the Good to try to help Dorothy get home. Glinda tells Dorothy that all she needs to do is click her silver slipper together three times and think of where she wants to go.
Of course the story ends happily with the Scarecrow returning the Emerald City to rule, Tin Woodman to rule the Winkies, and the Lion to rule the Forest. Dorothy returns home to her farm in Kansas safely.
I personally preferred the book to the movie. The movie was a bit more childish compared the book. The language used was a bit different from many of the books I read because it was from over a hundred years ago. The book also goes very quickly. It doesn’t give too much detail on events but the book did give excellent lengthy descriptions. I hope to read the next 14 books!