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109
4.4 out of 5 stars
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By now I am sure that everyone knows the story of The Wizard of Oz. I think I was just a toddler the first time I watched the movie and I loved it so much my mum bought me the book. After I read it something happened to shock my parents; I refused to watch the movie ever again. It wasn't that I hated the book, it was quite the contrary. The book was so magical the film was disappointing in comparison.
I understand now that there is so much more you can put in a book than you can in an hour and a half movie, but as a child I was annoyed that my favourite parts of the book were missing from the film. There was one chapter in particular where Dorothy and her friends enter the Dainty China Country that I especially would have loved to have seen on screen.
Whether you love or hate the movie I highly recommend reading the book. The background stories of each or her companions is reason enough to buy the book. Even if you are a child of six or sixty I'm sure you will find something new about this old and well known story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2001
BUY 3 COPIES OF THIS TREASURE! ONE TO LOOK AT ONE TO KEEP AND ONE TO SHOW YOUR FRIENDS!THE PRINTING ARTWORK-SPARKLING TOUCHES OF COLOURED FOIL FROM PAGE 1 THE WHIRLWIND TWIRLS AND BOUNCES OUT AT YOU-LAND IN GLITTERING OZ LAND COLOURED SPECS READY TO WEAR!(ALL INCLUDED)EACH PAGE HAS DOUBLE/TRIPPLE FOLD OUT POP-UPS! RIGHT THROU TO MR. OZ FLOATING UP IN HIS GLITTERING BALOON.YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE ROBERT SABUDA'S RESPLENDANT POP-UP ART TILL YOU OPEN THE MAGICAL PAGES OF THIS WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ!A KNOCK OUT POP-UP BOOK OF ALL POP-UP BOOKS.BUY ONE FOR GRANNY TOO!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2012
"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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2007
Thought the book looked a bit bulky at first but open it up and the most incredable tornado springs out of the first page, each page has a wonderful centre piece pop up. and every page of the book (which are smaller pages either side of the main popup) has some kind of smaller pop up. some of the things that emerge out of the book, such as the hot air balloon, are pretty impressive, and they all fold away very well. very good book.. got it as a present for my daughter but had to stop myself playing with it in case i wore it out.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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
on 16 May 1997
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
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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