The Wonderful World of the Wizard of Oz, which the the Library of Congress named as ‘America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale’, is one of the great works of children’s literature.
The story concerns Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas, who, with her little dog Toto, is caught up in a terrifying tornado, which whisks her far away to the magical land of Oz. Here she encounters the Munchkins, strange small creatures, who tell her that in order for her to return home she must follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and seek out the mysterious Wizard of Oz. On the journey she encounters the Tin Woodman, the brainless Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, each of whom wish to make a request of the Wizard. After several adventures, including an encounter with a deadly poppy field and being chased by winged monkeys, the travellers reach the Emerald City. The story rolls along at a tremendous pace in clear and engaging prose, which has helped the novel to become a perennial favourite with children. The appeal of the kaleidoscopic world of the land of Oz with all its incredible and fantastic elements and characters has great appeal to the unfettered mind of the young – and indeed those grown-ups who still retain a romantic imagination.
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