‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ – A reading classic

‘The wonderful wizard of oz’  (oz series book 1)  I HAD to blog about this book, I read lots of books and this one struck a chord with me and I knew I wanted to share the love of it with you here at the blog. It’s a classic read and I was keen to see if it differed from the movie and what the experience of reading it would be.

I love the movie but  I’m not a super fan and haven’t seen it a million times, as such I don’t remember all the film detail, but what I can tell you is I was hoping to be swept away on a nostalgic tour of Oz and a chance to – via the (FREE) kindle read- rediscover old friends like the cowardly lion and the tin man. I was hoping for joy.

How long it takes to read..

I settled down on evening and started to read… and read and read! I didn’t put it down at all generally, I think I had read 2 or three pages at a different time.

It is not hard to read in one sitting as it is a short book, it took me about an hour and a half I guess, as such it is not too demanding and written rather simply.

I was transfixed to it, I WAS captured in that swept up feeling a book can give and a magical book of outrageous characters that capture your heart and give you that feeling of being at a good pantomime.

The characters

What made the book you may ask?

well it was those characters, okay Dorothy gets swept to Oz and she handles it beautifully, very calm and resourceful. (although things tend to happen TO her rather than she makes them happen, BUT she makes a plan, which I identify with as I love a plan myself.)

I found the Scarecrow man very funny and very very gentlemanly, he looked after Dorothy the most I felt and led the gang along that road, that was my opinion anyway. Of course we all know he was after a brain but quite obviously had a very intelligent one already in general!

Next the Tin Man, oh! surely in the movie they didnt tell the gross story of how he became tin!, but tin man was sweet and thoughtful, I can see him now as I write, clattering along. Worrying about rusting. After a heart and yet his sweetness said it all.

crocus main
It isn’t Oz but is as beautiful in England, the trees, the flowers, the green.

The cowardly Lion,

So afraid and so embarrassed is the Lion, and yet we find him brave and sweet, a lovely combination in the lion, the author didn’t forget he WAS a lion though and threw in one or two bits that made me remember he was still that wild animal.

Toto was kept as the dog he was, no different talents, so that added to the air of belief in a way a book can do!

Of course there are more characters, all worthy of there places, but of course big star OZ (the let down reveal) and the Witches.

…It was a book of contrast on one hand there was a big fight and danger to escape the horrible witch, and yet Dorothy manages to kill her in the most easy of ways by accident, who knew!

….but such is Dorothy’s  ‘special talent’ it seems of killing the bad witches of Oz.

What Learning is in the wizard of oz book.

I loved the author L Frank Baum‘s way of writing so simply and yet very cleverly in that he got across how what the travelers were looking for is right under there nose and all they have to do is believe and recognize that in themselves and see their talents, it’s a good message for life, it has LAYERS everyone!!

Dorothy had the hardest reveal of how to get home as it was a talent brought on by SHOES!

I loved the way you could read and see with different lines of writing the ways in which the characters revealed they had just what they needed already, how much more clever could the scarecrow man be, he seemed human with it to me.

The lion gathered his confidence throughout the trip to Oz and the tin man cared so much about his heart it was obvious he had one…

I wonder how young a reader would have to be to realize all of this, I can’t help thinking it will be read in two very different ways in that respect, children will probably take it more at face value. It is well worth reading as an adult.

…(in my humble opinion) 🙂

Differing Opinions

I was having a very interesting discussion on the whimsyandCosy book group on Facebook about it with a member of the group who didn’t enjoy it at all, found it too simple and lacked depth. Wondering, (I won’t name her ) if it was because she had grown up an advanced reader, I found for me, this wasn’t why because I too was one of those. (purely because I LOVED reading so much I did it so much)

I do think it depends on your mindset and maybe usual taste in books, this was a more unusual read for me, but I have a special place in my heart of the (supposed) simplicity of children’s books and within my collection are many children’s books from picture books of Elmer the Elephant, to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

I have times I really want to dip into the world as it is in a picture book and sometimes to go to another land is such a good adventure. I am quite imaginative and I see the books lands beautifully in my eye, the characters dance, live and breathe in my imagination for the time I’m reading and when i think of it after.

Is it also the case that I was simply in the mood for that read, a book can really turn you away in the wrong mood for it, like a TV show, was I ready to submerge my mind into Oz for the evening. I know I came away from it chatting away about it to ‘Man of Mine’, with LOTS of enthusiasm and he was the one who suggested I should blog about it.

I am the type of person who loves happy things, loves imaginative things, creative things, fun things and I collect toys still, … does this mean I am more able to throw myself into the world of OZ and feel the heartbeat of the story, Do I read things more deeply?

It is a classic so I can’t be the only one.

Different people can be expecting different things I guess, and I felt it has more to it than the movie in characters/scenes …but maybe it was all in there and I dont remember it.

What confused me

I was a bit confused why the tin mans motivation was the heart and a girl to love from his past, but when he got the heart (or thought he had something NEW) he was going to rule a land, they all seemed to be, but for the tin man I didn’t see why as his motivation was personal.

The movie carries the feel of the book for sure and I look forward to watching it sometime again.

It’s worth  a read if you may enjoy it like me, afterwards I was trying to work out my favorite character, I decided the scarecrow man, because he was so caring and clever.

Have you read it or watched the movie? I would love to hear any comments and chat about it, do you PLAN to read it now?  I hope so, and I hope you like it even half as much as I did.

Take Care








7 thoughts on “‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ – A reading classic”

  1. I love the movie and was so excited to share it with my kids, that they were too young and I didn’t remember that there were scary elements like the flying monkeys, the neighbour, the wicked witch, and even the wizard–memories have a way of finding where you want them to remain, whether happy, sad or scary, rather than what kind of book, movie or whatever they truly are… my son found it disturbing and may never watch it as a result. Oops.
    I have always loved re-reading books at different times in my life and yet have never read this. I am feeling very motivated by your post, Zoe, to add this classic to the long list of favourites that I have read. When I have, I will share my reaction with you.
    Great review of a book that resulted in a favoured movie.


  2. Well you have made me want to read this book.
    I think “children’s authors” often layer books so well they can be enjoyed at the being read to age and then multiple times through childhood into adulthood. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is one of my favourite books and, I think, a great example of a textured book, for child and adult. Of course if an adult is embedded fully in “adultness” it may well be possible to miss the intricacies and see these wonderful stories as mere simplistic writings for younger children only.
    You write beautifully Zozie and will look out for your links to your blog🙏


  3. Thank you so much for your kind words 😊
    I loved the read and hope you do too if you spend time with it .
    I am not really familiar with the book /movies of ‘The Little Prince’ but may read it sometime now.
    I thought The Wizard of Oz was a clever read – it bounced back and forth between simplicity and layered meaning which was surprising.
    It well deserves it’s classic status.
    I do hope you regularly read the blog now – it covers various topics like journals /art/nature/crochet and more to entertain -you are certainly most welcome as are all.


  4. Thanks for your comment Kim – so glad you dropped by.
    I wasn’t even sure the monkeys were in the film so it’s easy to forget some parts – I wasn’t sure if what I was reading was new to me or not in that respect.
    Oh it’s disappointing when we share something and it isn’t as we remember or we picked not the best moment – I’m sure your son will have forgiven you even if it’s not his movie of choice!
    The movie was very over the top acted in style wasn’t it and as such it’s very dramatic …although it’s a dramatic story (it’s done a bit like a pantomime isn’t it )
    So glad you want to read it Kim and will enjoy hearing your views please as you mentioned.


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