We're not in Kansas anymore...
When a cyclone rips through the Kansas plains, young Dorothy and her dog Toto find themselves uprooted and caught in the whirlwind, only to be deposited in a strange new land where magical things are commonplace.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an American children's novel written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, was originally published May 1900. It is most often known by the title The Wizard of Oz, which is the title of the popular 1902 Broadway musical adaptation as well as the iconic 1939 live-action film.
The book is one of the best-known stories in American literature and has been widely translated. The Library of Congress has declared it "America's greatest and best-loved homegrown fairy-tale." Its groundbreaking success and the success of the Broadway musical adapted from the novel led Baum to write thirteen additional Oz books that serve as official sequels to the first story.
Influenced by classic fairy tales, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Baum identified the books' source of popularity as Alice herself, a child with whom the child readers could identify; this influenced his choice of a protagonist. Baum was also influenced by Carroll's belief that children's books should have many pictures and be pleasurable to read. Carroll rejected the Victorian-era ideology that children's books should be saturated with morals, instead believing that children should be allowed to be children.
1. "New Fairy Stories: "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by Authors of "Father Goose."" (PDF). Grand Rapids Herald. September 16, 1900. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
The Original OZ Stories
L. Frank Baum, who went on to write fourteen full-length Oz books. All of the Baum written books are in the public domain in the United States. Even while he was alive, Baum was styled as "the Royal Historian of Oz" to emphasize the concept that Oz is an actual place. The illusion created was that characters such as Dorothy and Princess Ozma related their adventures in Oz to Baum themselves, by means of wireless telegraph.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
A little farm girl named Dorothy and her pet dog, Toto, get swept away into the Land of Oz by a Kansas cyclone. Upon her arrival, she is hailed as a sorceress, liberates a living Scarecrow, meets a man made entirely of tin, and a Cowardly Lion. But all Dorothy really wants to know is how she can return home. The ruler of Oz, the great Wizard, who resides in an Emerald City, may be the only one powerful enough to help her.
The Marvelous Land of Oz
A little boy, Tip, escapes from his evil guardian, the witch Mombi, with the help of a walking wooden figure with a jack-o'-lantern head named Jack Pumpkinhead (brought to life with the magic Powder of Life Tip stole from Mombi), as well as a living Sawhorse (created from the same powder). Tip ends up on an adventure with the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman to help Scarecrow recapture his throne from General Jinjur's army of girls.
Ozma of Oz
While traveling to Australia with her Uncle Henry, Dorothy is swept overboard with a hen named Billina. They land in Ev, a country across the desert from Oz, where they encounter the wheelers and make a new friend, the mechanical man Tik-Tok. They meet Princess Ozma, who is in Ev to attempt to save Ev's royal family from the evil Nome King, and finally return to Oz.
The Scarecrow of Oz
Cap'n Bill and Trot journey to Oz and, with the help of the Scarecrow, the former ruler of Oz, overthrow the villainous King Krewl of Jinxland. Cap'n Bill and Trot had previously appeared in two other novels by Baum, The Sea Fairies and Sky Island. Based in part upon the 1914 silent film, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz. This was allegedly L. Frank Baum's personal favourite Oz book.
The Lost Princess of Oz
When Princess Ozma mysteriously disappears, four search parties are sent out, one for each of Oz's four countries. Most of the book covers Dorothy and the Wizard's efforts to find her. Meanwhile, Cayke the Cookie Chef discovers that her magic dishpan (on which she bakes her famous cookies) has been stolen. Along with the Frogman, they leave their mountain in Winkie Country to find the pan.
Rinkitink of Oz
Young Prince Inga of Pingaree, aided by King Rinkitink, three powerful magical pearls, and a goat, attempts to rescue Inga's parents and their subjects from marauding warriors who have laid waste to Pingaree and enslaved its people. Baum originally wrote this book as a non-Oz book entitled King Rinkitink.
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Tin Woodman, whose real name is Nick Chopper, sets out to find the Munchkin Girl he had courted before he became a tin man. He and his party (the Scarecrow and a new character called Woot the Wanderer) have numerous adventures on this quest. They are transformed into animals by a hostile giantess, and they meet another live tin man, Captain Fyter, as well as a Frankenstein monster-like creature, Chopfyt, made from their combined fleshly parts by the tinsmith Ku-Klip.
Glinda of Oz
Dorothy, Ozma and Glinda try to stop a war in the Gillikin Country. This was Baum's last Oz book, and was published posthumously. This book contains a dark scene (in the house of Red Reera), most likely due to Baum's failing health. There have been many other Oz books released since, although not written by Baum.
OZ in Film & Television
Since the original book's debut, there have been dozens of film and television adaptations of the many tales of Oz. To read more about Oz's long history in motion pictures, here's an article from ozclub.org.
Land of Oz Series
by Ruth Thompson
An avid reader of Baum's books and a lifelong children's writer, Thompson was brought on to continue the Oz series after Baum's death.
Between 1921 and 1939, she wrote one Oz book a year. They were all illustrated by John R. Neill, who had also illustrated Baum's Oz books.
Mister Tinker in OZ
by James Howe
One night in Kansas, Dorothy meets Ezra P. Tinker, the inventor of Tik-Tok the clockwork man, and he tells her the thousand year guarantee has just run down. With the help of Mister Tinker's speckoscope and Julius Quickscissors they return to Oz. They encounter a group of babies called the Widdlebits and trek across the bottomless swamp. Finally, they make it to the Emerald City, where Dorothy is able to be sent home once again.
Trouble Under Oz
by Sherwood Smith
Big trouble is brewing in Oz! Sinister clouds boil ominously over the Emerald City, Dorothy has gone missing, and there are rumblings of rebellion in the Nome Kingdom. So a desperate plea for help goes out from Princess Ozma to two resourceful sisters from Kansas through the magic snow globe that helped bring them to Oz once before. But the girls face troubles of their own at home, and only one of them can answer Ozma's call.
by Gregory Maguire
This is the book that started it all! The basis for the smash hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Gregory Maguire's breathtaking New York Times bestseller Wicked views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker and greener (not rosier) lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers us a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, as Maguire tells us, wasn't nearly as Wicked as we imagined.
The Emerald City of Oz
by Eric Shanower
The Nome King is quite angry: he knows Dorothy has his magical belt, which holds half of his power, and he'll do anything to get it back. He plans his attack through an underground tunnel to where the belt rests at Ozma's palace in the Emerald City in the Land of Oz. Meanwhile, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry can no longer afford to keep their farm. Dorothy invites them to live in Ozma's palace, where they can finally live a life without worry--unless the Nome King as his army of 50,000 have anything to do with it. This is the first book in a graphic novel adaptation of the original series.
Visitors from Oz
by Martin Gardner
Gardner employs a mathematics puzzle (involving a Klein bottle) to bring the three Oz characters to Earth in 1998, where Dorothy becomes involved in the machinations of two movie producers. Contemporary references to Rudy Giuliani, the Internet, and television newscasts are unusual, at the least, in an Oz book. Gardner's whimsy encompasses the ancient Greek gods, characters from Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its 1871 sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and an ursine detective called Sheerluck Brown.