The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Everyone knows the basic story of The Wizard of Oz but probably more so from the fabulous 1939 film starting a Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale from Kansas. This film is in my top 10 and I remember the first time I watched it as a child with my mum and I was mesmerised with the colour scene when Dorothy opens the door to see Oz for the first time.

So, when I ordered the gorgeous Scholastic classic series last week for the school library and saw that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book was included I just had to read it as I have never read it before. I loved it. I loved it even more than the film but I could not believe how different it was to the film and I had never known about these differences before.

So I am going to tell you about them. Spoilers ahead!

The main difference was that the slippers were not ruby but silver! Apparently the ruby slippers were only used in the film because of the new technicolour available at the time the film was released and they wanted to show this off!

I loved the fact that when Dorothy ended up in Oz it wasn’t a dream but an actual adventure caused by the cyclone, the dream was just created for the film to make it even more exciting.

Glinda does not appear until the very end of the book and she is the Good Witch of the South. The Good Witch of the North welcomes Dorothy to Oz, kisses her forehead for protection and sends her on her way to the road of yellow brick to find the Wizard to send her home. When you think about it why would Glinda send her all the way to see the Wizard when she could just have sent her home the whole time…..?

The book is a lot darker than the film. When Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin-man and The Lion are sent to kill the Wicked Witch of the West for the Wizard to be able to grant their requests the Wicked Witch of the West tries to kill them first by using wolves which the Tin-man destroys by cutting of their heads. Next, she sends forty crows and the scarecrow twists their necks, and then she sends a swarm of killing bees which the Tin-Man takes ofby letting them sting him as it wouldn’t hurt and once they try to sting him they die.

In the movie, it is portrayed that the Winged Monkeys are faithful servants to the Wicked Witch of the West. But, in the book the Wicked Witch has control of the Golden Cap which means she can control the monkeys three times only, and they will grant her requests.

Finally, the Field Mice especially The Queen of the Field Mice play quite a big part in the book because the Tin-Man saves her from being eaten, therefor she was able to help Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin-man and the Lion in return. The field mice saved them in the poppy fields where as in the film it is Glinda that saves them, but in the book they would not have met Glinda yet.

Even though the film is so different which I hadn’t realised before I still love it. But, I really want to read the full collection of Oz stories now as I want to see what other wonderful adventures have been told.

I rate this book 5/5 – I just loved it!

AR Level – 7.0

I also love the Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige! If you like the Oz stories I also recommend this series.

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