Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Annotated Centennial Edition) by Frank Baum

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fantasy; Children’s Literature; Classic Literature

Goodreads Plot: A beloved classic comes to life with this beautifully illustrated annotated edition on the 100th anniversary of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the quintessential American fairy tale, but also one of the most controversial children’s books ever published. Michael Patrick Hearn, the world’s leading Oz scholar, provides a spellbinding annotated edition that illuminates all of Oz’s numerous contemporary references, provides fascinating character sources, and explains the actual meaning of the word “Oz.” A facsimile of the rare 1900 first edition appears with the original drawings by W. W. Denslow–scrupulously reproduced to mimic their correct colors, using a different color for each region of Oz–as well as twenty-five previously unpublished illustrations. In addition, Hearn provides an extensive bibliography, compiling Baum’s published work, every notable Oz edition, and the stage and motion-picture productions from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz to the 1974 Broadway smash The Wiz. The result is a classic to rival Baum’s own, and a book no family’s library can do without. 90 black-and-white, 56 color, and two-color illustrations throughout

My Thoughts: This book was just as great this time around as it was when I read it in second grade. Dorothy is such a fun character, and the book version of this specific book is much better than the movie (although the movie is FAB). I love the annotated version because it has basically one page of notes for every page of story, and I learned a lot about Frank Baum and his inspirations and a lot of the references in his books. Did you know that he (allegedly) wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz without bothering to go back and edit or read it before publishing?? That’s crazy. Anywho. I loved this version of the book, and if you’re a collector or you just like reading factoids while you read a story, you should definitely check this book out!

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