The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Two rings surrounding a person on a purple background.  Two open white pages on an orange background.  A black background with a white W.  A black background with a white symbol, that has a black play symbol in the middle.  A black background with a white tentacled cat.

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Few works have captured the imagination of an entire nation as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (more commonly known as The Wizard of Oz). Immortalized in 1939s The Wizard of Oz film, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the tale of Dorothy who finds herself in the magical Land of Oz. There, she meets the Scarecrow, who says he lacks a brain and wishes to have one; the Tin Woodman, who says he lacks a heart and desires one; and the Cowardly Lion, who above all desires courage.

She meets a whole cast of other characters as well: the Good Witch of the North, the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the West, and, of course, Oz – who is not who Dorothy thinks he is. Throughout it all, her faithful dog, Toto is at her side.

Baum was in part inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll rejected the Victorian notion that children’s books ought to be moralized; instead, he contended that they should be fun & pleasurable to read, with pictures and a main character that children could identify with: a child, like themselves. Baum took that to heart and wrote a fun book that, in the end, was enjoyable for both children & adults

The book found critical acclaim on its release. That explains its many adaptations and sequels, both official and unofficial.

You can get a full hardcover set of the books here. The 1939 film is critically acclaimed; and Wicked tells the story from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. If you want to learn more about the world of Oz, Yellow Brick Road and Beyond is a documentary available on Amazon Prime that should help give you some insight.