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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old classic is reinvigorated with wonderful quirky illustrations
This chunky hardback in an unusual squarish landscape format is a fascinating new take on this 100 year old classic. On pages that are wonderfully spacious, with quaint typographical touches throughout, L. Frank Baum's original text has inspired a collection of intricate, fascinating and colourful illustrations.
Rawle is a collage artist and here he has had the...
Published on 28 Nov 2008 by ELH Browning

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality product but old fashioned language
This book is definitely a well made product however due to the language and some of the scenes that are described its one for older kids, I felt my 5 year old was too young for it as a lot of the language and expressions used in the book are not used today so she did not understand certain paragraphs and sentances I was reading to her. There are also parts which are...
Published 19 months ago by Paul


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old classic is reinvigorated with wonderful quirky illustrations, 28 Nov 2008
By 
ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
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This chunky hardback in an unusual squarish landscape format is a fascinating new take on this 100 year old classic. On pages that are wonderfully spacious, with quaint typographical touches throughout, L. Frank Baum's original text has inspired a collection of intricate, fascinating and colourful illustrations.
Rawle is a collage artist and here he has had the vision and dedication to create dozens and dozens of interesting imaginative pictures that are reminiscent of a by-gone era.
Rawle has not been distracted by the 1939 Judy Garland film (which included red shoes when Baum described silver) and has chosen rather to go right back to basics: it is great to see the exquisite attention to the original. For example when Baum describes the munchkins, he says they wore round hats that rose to a point a foot above their heads with little bells around the brims - and in this book, Rawle has made them just so.
Every picture is perfectly fashioned from real objects with a touch of genius helped, I am sure, with some 21st century image manipulation, and they are amazing.
The key characters appear to have been chosen carefully from a 1950s toy box, and I love the tin man, the cowardly lion and the flying monkeys.
Some of the collages are undoubtedly a little unsettling and the wicked witch with her telescope eye is rather scary, like the puppets in an old fashioned Punch and Judy. However, the pictures are certainly no more disturbing than those damaged toys in the nasty boy's room in Toy Story and most small children take those in their stride, and Rawle's characters are entirely appropriate to Baum's accimpanying narrative.
This is a striking, brave and rather kooky illustrative approach and it's a style that won't appeal to everyone. However the more you look, the more you notice the detail in the pictures and the exquisite care that has gone into creating this masterpiece. I particularly like the bead plants and a magnificent field of poppies with their centres fashioned from black fruit pastilles and headed pins.
It's a theatrical work and there's actually a two minute youtube clip (youtube com/watch?v=-rMmPlFWpNQ) about the extravagant effort that has gone into its construction that's well worth a view before you buy.
One to treasure and pass down the generations.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all ages, 9 Mar 2003
By 
Cecilia S. Idiart (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
This classic among children's books tells the story of how Dorothy and her dog Toto find their way back to Kansas from a distant, unknown land. It is truly delightful from beginning to end and will surely be loved and enjoyed by readers of all ages, not just children. The story is told in a simple, yet beautiful way and will grip the reader to the last page with Dorothy and Toto's wild adventures. From the sad story of the Winged Monkeys to the walk across the "Dainty China Country", it is a good start for any young bookworm and a charming read for any adult.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for adults and kids!, 4 Mar 2003
By 
Paul Munro "hndpaul" (Northants) - See all my reviews
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There are great life lessons in this book for adults and children. I like to see the search for courage and a heart etc as a lesson in not looking outside for these things, but remembering instead that they can be found inside us all. We all have hearts, courage and brains etc to use. Slipping to a more child like level ;-), the kids loved this book. The characters are great and clean, and the book is written in an easy style that will captivate them for quite a while. At this price, you can't really grumble either!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and mysterious illustrations, "wonder full" story, 16 May 1997
By A Customer
This well-known fairy tale now has illustrations truly worthy of the mysterious and wonderful happenings in the Land of Oz. The European illustrator, Lisbeth Zwerger, states in the book jacket that she had never seen the Hollywood movie version before doing her drawings and that they were drawn simply from the author's own descriptions in the book. I read the book aloud to my daughters, one 10 and the other 6 years old, and found that the book is quite different from the movie. The pictures are exquisite, colorful, and capture the strangeness of the story. Both children loved it. Afterwards, the 6 year old said, "Mom, maybe we should BUY this book," (I had borrowed it from the library). Since then not only have I bought the book, I have given it to my nephew for his birthday and to another friend for her baby shower. It's superb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good narration, rapid pace, 14 July 2013
By 
J. R. Atkinson "Jim Bob" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this and Bill Nighy does make an excellent narrator, with just one small criticism being that his voice for Dorothy does not convey a young girl. The other characters are great and the way this has been abridged makes the pace of the story electric (the whole thing is done in 60 minutes).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where It All Began, 6 Jun 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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It is years since I last read Lyman Frank Baum's classic children's tale, but I saw this book and thought I would like to read it again. In all Baum wrote fourteen Oz books, as well as other novels, short stories and poems, but it will be this book first published in 1900, that he will always be best remembered for.

This is also the book that was made into the famous musical movie by MGM, and that probably virtually everyone has seen, even if they have never read the book. The film itself only follows the book in general terms, as indeed there are differences, and in all the book is more darker. The film left out many of Dorothy's adventures and changed other things, most notably in the book Dorothy has silver shoes, not red. For 110 years this tale has fascinated the reading public, and long may it continue so.

So if you really want to know what happened to Dorothy then you must read this book. I personally have just sat down and read it in one sitting, as it is a great piece of escapism for adults. You can read this to the little ones, and when they are old enough they can read it themselves, and then when they have children the cycle starts again. This is a great little book to have on your bookshelf, that is ideal for all the family.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars do away with all that judy garland junk., 15 May 2006
By 
Mrs. D. L. Cox (uk) - See all my reviews
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the book is good, damn good. i wish i had read it as a child. there is so much more to the book than the film ever gave light to. some very important sentiments were done away with and the book has sadly been distorted. has anyone read this? my guess is most people think they have but in truth only imagine it. i loved the fact that everyone had to wear green glasses and the china land was a concept i have never come across. go read it to the kiddies. a classic that should not be missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky & Surreal Adventure ot the land of Oz, 4 Sep 2012
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum is the latest book I have read as part of an online Fantasy Classics Challenge I have taken part in. Like many of the other books I have read in this challenge, it is another story that I am aware of through movies and other media.

The first half of the story is actually quite close to what you could expect if you have seen the famous 1939 classic including a rather grey Kansas. Dorothy and her dog Toto get whisked away by a Tornado and land in Oz, accidentally killing the wicked witch of the East in the process. She immediately desires to find a way home and so begins an adventure along the Yellow Brick road to request the help of the great wizard that lives in the Emerald City.

However, the 2nd half of the book is a rather unknown and surreal affair that involves a journey across an entire land made out of porcelain china. Everything there is made of china including the people, animals and buildings and I can understand why the makers of the movie really didn't fancy trying to create this element of the story on the big screen.

This novel really is quite a surreal and quirky adventure and I did enjoy the journey it took me on. It can be quite hard to read a book like this when you have already seen the movie so many times but I found the differences between the two formats to be part of what kept me entertained. One of the little differences that really made me smile was when I found out that the Emerald City is not actually green, but the people in the city are made to wear green tinted glasses so it appears that way.

In all honesty though, I still think the movie is a slightly better form of the story. There is just a little bit more fun ingrained in that portrayal and the Wicked Witch of the West was used to a much more powerful extent. I also think the violence is toned down quite a lot in the movie which makes it a little bit more suited for children. I couldn't actually believe how many animal beheadings littered the novel.

The one specific little issue I had with the book itself though was the way in which the story was structured. The story was presented to the reader in sharp bite size chunks that felt like mini adventures within a very limited overall arc. It all just felt very piecemeal to me and spoilt the flow a little. However, I can see the advantage this provides when reading the book to a child who would happily enjoy the quick conclusions to the adventure contained in each chapter.

Overall, this was a fun little read that explored a more surreal side to the Wizard of Oz legend. I enjoyed exploring the little strands of difference between the book and the movie and it was quite an eye opener reading a children's fantasy book that didn't try and portray a moral conclusion to every action. I am probably going to try and continue my journey through Baum's Oz books just to see where the adventures in his rather quirky world could lead next.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Illustrated Heirloom Edition of The Wizard of Oz, 19 Aug 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz (Hardcover)
Here's a trivia question for you. When Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch of the East by dropping her house on the witch, was the witch wearing (a) ruby slippers? (b) silver shoes? (c) both?

If you answered "both," you have the correct answer. L. Frank Baum's original story (found in this book) has magical silver shoes in it. The movie version of the story, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, had ruby slippers. Why the change? Well, ruby slippers film much better. So the Wicked Witch of the East wore both types of footwear, depending on whether you are reading the book or watching the movie.

I share that example with you because 9 people out of 10 have seen the movie, but never read the book. When I was a wee lad, I started in the opposite direction and was sorry to see how much of the Oz story was left out in the movie.

Now, you can make up for lost time by reading or rereading the original. I commend it to you for three primary reasons. First, the book version is built around the idea that the different parts of Oz cannot be easily traversed and the ensuing travel complications make for a better plot. Second, there are many more types of imaginative creatures in the book than in the movie. Third, the book has been lovingly enhanced by new illustrations done in turn of the 20th century style by Michael Hague. The illustrations encompass styles from immediately post van Gogh (yes, there are sunflowers) through Art Deco. I especially liked the water colors of gloomy and darkening skies.

If you are like me, you will chortle when you read L. Frank Baum's comment in the beginning that the story was "written solely to please children . . . a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained . . ." while the scary parts are left out. If you remember frightening moments, you are thinking about the movie. The book is much more gentle, which makes it more suitable for the youngsters. Yes, there are frightening villains, but they are quickly dispatched rather than being allowed to hang around to menace and frighten children just before bedtime. Still, children must have been braver in those days. This story is still scary enough for most to feel a deathly chill now and then.

Many of the ambiguities and confusing aspects of the movie are clearer and less disconcerting in the book, as well.

I won't go into a fine comparison of the two, because that will just spoil the plot for you. Do let me mention a few chapters that you will not recognize from the movie . . . just to whet your appetite for the book -- Away to the South, Attacked by the Fighting Trees, The Dainty China Country, and The Country of the Quadlings.

After you have finished enjoying the wonderful story and new illustrations, think about some of the lessons of the book. Notice that by teaming up, Dorothy and her friends could combine strengths to overcome individual weaknesses. This is the ultimate group of superheroes. How can you combine your talents with others so that all of you combined can accomplish vastly more than any one of you can individually?

Stay on the Yellow Brick Road with effective allies!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follows the book not the movie - lovely way to spend an hour., 23 Aug 2013
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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My first comment would have to be; this is a reading from an abridged version of the original novel by Frank L Baum and doesn't follow the script from the mega famous Judy Garland musical. It's a lovely adventure, for adults and children alike, and features the characters you'd expect such as Toto, Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow doing battle with witches and flying monkeys. The audio version is much shorter and lacks the same amount of action sequences as the movie but I've read the book many times and I'm pleased they followed the original. I'm just letting you know it's different.

Bill Nighy does a excellent job of packing in atmosphere and comedy and keeps enough vocal difference between his characters you don't become confused. That's something of an achievement. The hour whizzed by and both quality of the sound recording and presentation are good. My idea of heaven and took me right back to my childhood.
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Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The (Leatherbound Childrens Classic) (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
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