The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
In his introduction to the first American fairytale that went on to become one of the most famous and beloved movies of all time, author L. Frank Baum says a rather extraordinary thing. Discussing the purpose of the old fairytales by Grimm and Andersen, Baum tells us that such tales existed both to entertain children and provide a moral by means of “horrible and blood-curdling” incident. True enough, but Baum goes on to say that his book falls outside this typical definition of a fairytale, telling us that: “the story of the Wizard of Oz was written solely to pleasure children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairytale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.”
Reading The Wizard of Oz for the first time made me wonder if Baum was even aware of what he’d written,... Read More
L. Frank Baum(1856-1919)
Besides the classic Oz books, L. Frank Baum wrote many other books and short stories under several pseudonyms. You can download OZ audiobooks for free at Librivox because they’re in the public domain.
The Wizard of Oz — (1900-1920) Ages 9-12. Publisher: One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, “There’s no place like home.” Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powered Wizard of Oz.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus — (1902) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Taking the beloved symbol of merriment out of his conventional trappings and into the world of imaginative folklore, Baum gives Santa Claus an exciting life. After growing up in an enchanted forest with elves and wood nymphs, evil Awgwas, and the master woodsman Ak, Claus makes his first toy, ventures out on Christmas Eve, chooses his reindeer, and starts climbing down chimneys.
The Enchanted Island of Yew — (1903) Publisher: Once there was an enchanted island in the middle of the sea. It was called the Isle of Yew. And in it were five important kingdoms ruled by men, and many woodland dells and forest glades and pleasant meadows and grim mountains inhabited by fairies. From the fairies some of the men had learned wonderful secrets, and had become magicians and sorcerers, with powers so great that the entire island was reputed to be one of enchantments. Who these men were the common people did not always know; for while some were kings and rulers, others lived quietly hidden away in forests or mountains, and seldom or never showed themselves. Indeed, there were not so many of these magicians as people thought, only it was so hard to tell them from common folk that every stranger was regarded with a certain amount of curiosity and fear.
Queen Zixi of Ix: or The Story of the Magic Cloak — (1905) Publisher: The fairies assembled one moonlit night in a pretty clearing of the ancient forest of Burzee. The clearing was in the form of a circle, and all around stood giant oak and fir trees, while in the center the grass grew green and soft as velvet. If any mortal had ever penetrated so far into the great forest and could have looked upon the fairy circle by daylight, he might perhaps have seen a tiny path worn in the grass by the feet of the dancing elves.
The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile — (1908) Publisher: This was the only adventure novel (set in contemporary Egypt with some fantasy trappings) and the last adult work of fiction of L. Frank Baum, creator of the Wizard of Oz, published eleven years after he wrote Mother Goose in Prose which first introduced a little girl by the name of Dorothy.
The Sea Fairies — (1911) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Trot and her uncle, Cap’n Bill, encounter unusual experiences with mermaids, sea-serpents, and other strange creatures while journeying in the depths of the sea. Enchanting fantasy by creator of beloved “Oz” stories whisks young readers away on an exciting underwater adventure! They’ll meet a school of beguiling mermaids and an aristocratic codfish, attend an elegant banquet, confront an awesome sea monster, and much more. Enhanced by 78 of John R. Neill’s original black-and-white illustrations.
Sky Island — (1912) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Captivating tale by a master of make-believe recounts the further adventures of a little girl named Trot; Cap’n Bill; and their new friend, Button-Bright. Transported by magic umbrella to an island in the sky, they meet six snub-nosed princesses, discover the King’s treasure chamber, and meet Tourmaline the poverty Queen. 86 black-and-white and12 full-color illustrations.
The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People — (1968) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Adventures in a land even stranger than Oz. A good many years ago the Magical Monarch of Mo became annoyed by the Purple Dragon, which came down from the mountains and ate up a patch of his best chocolate caramels just as they were getting ripe. So the King went out to the sword tree and picked a long, sharp sword and tied it to his belt and went away to the mountains to fight the Purple Dragon.