Clare County Library
Book Promotions
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers:
Children's Classics


The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Published by The Penguin Group, 1982
ISBN 0-14-036693-8
Illustrations © David McKee, 1982

The story of Dorothy and her little dog Toto is a well known classic adventure which inspired the film now as famous as the book itself. The book is written in an easy style despite it’s being quite a long story.

When a cyclone hits Dorothy’s home in Kansas she and her dog are whisked away to a magical land from which she must follow the yellow brick road to lead her home. Her journey introduces us to the many strange companions she meets, like the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion and the problems that they themselves feel they have.

There is plenty food for discussion and thought for readers of all ages often concealed under a humourous surface with a sense of adventure that carries the reader along.

The audience with the wonderful wizard turns out to be a non-event, the wizard himself proving to be nothing more than a humbug. In the same chapter we are indirectly advised to look inside ourselves for the human qualities of courage, kindness and intellect. The futility of searching for them is underlined in the Lion’s search for courage, the Tin Woodman’s search for a heart and the Scarecrow’s search for brains.

Depending on the reader’s interpretation, The Wizard of Oz can be a simple adventure story or a documentary on our perceptions of what’s important in life.

<< From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers: Children's Classics