A wonderful series of "read-aloud" books

May 15, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:fantastic tales, built-in interest for kids who've seen the movie

Cons:big words

L. Frank Baum's Oz series is a real treat as a read-aloud story for a child or even a whole family. I have read them to my daughter a chapter at a time before bed since she was very young. (Now that she is reading well herself, she likes to keep the light on after I'm through to read herself a chapter or two.)

Readers of the first book in the series may be startled by the differences from the famous (and wonderful) film version. There are many, and - truth be told - many of the changes made for the film were improvements. Baum's books are perhaps closer to the more recent film "Return to Oz", excepting that they have considerably more humor and whimsy.

There is a wonderful set of these books currently in publication from the Books of Wonder series. By all means, if you are going to buy the books, go all out and get these splendid editions. They are reproductions of the original editions, often with gorgeous illustrations. That's another problem with this first book in the series - the original artwork in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is actually quite inferior to the illustrations of the later books in the series, particularly those of John R. Neill.

These books contain a vast array of language and therefore many opportunities for building your child's vocabulary. At the same time, the illustrations and fantastic adventures can hold the attention of even young children.

I have read many books to my children at bedtime, but we have had more fun and have gotten more involved with L. Frank Baum's Oz series than with any others.

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