With Illustrations by Michael Sieben

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Just in time for the release of Oz: The Great and Powerful, comes an all new edition of the original classic children’s story.

All the usual characters are there.  Dorothy and Toto are swept up by a tornado and find themselves in the colorful land of Oz.  There they meet up with witches — good and bad –, Munchkins, a scarecrow, a tin woodsman and a very tame lion.  The group makes their way down the yellow brick road, through poppy fields, to the glowing Emerald City.

It’s impossible to not compare the original book with the film from 1939.  Images of Judy Garland and Ray Bolger certainly flit across the back of one’s mind.  And it’s fun to compare the text with what became the MGM classic.  Most people are familiar with the fact that Dorothy’s magic shows were silver, but ruby red looked better in Technicolor.

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One of the most disappointing cuts from book to movie are some of the smaller moments during their journey.  We see the characters using the very thing they think they don’t have.  The scarecrow creates cunning plans, the tin woodsman is inspired by his heart, and the lion acts with extreme bravery.

Michael Sieben has created all new illustrations for this edition.  Again, not an easy task considering the iconic images that everyone has seen and known for their entire lives.  The book is very colorful and full of these illustrations.  While I recognize the artistic talent, their style is not for me.  The characters are reminiscent of Raggedy Ann and Andy — not just the scarecrow, but all of them.  They’re kinda creepy.

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Aside from the artwork, I enjoyed revisiting this classic.  The simplicity of the prose is something rare in children’s books over 100 years later.  This is an excellent addition to an older child’s library.

Many thanks to Joel and Harper Design for the review copy.
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ISBN: 9780062018083
ISBN10: 0062018086
Imprint: Harper Design
On Sale: 2/19/2013
Format: Hardcover
Trimsize: 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
Pages: 224; $18.99
Ages: 18 and Up

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