LITTLE WIZARD STORIES OF OZ by L. Frank Baum
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LITTLE WIZARD STORIES OF OZ

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A treat for young and old alike, this volume includes six short, simply told tales, as well as an introduction by Michael Partick Hearn (editor of the Critical Heritage edition of The Wizard of Oz), explaining the history of the stories. Originally published individually in 1913, the tales feature the most well-known and well-loved Oz characters, illustrated with wonderfully humorous and garish pictures. In keeping with the reputation Baum had established for fantastic yet unthreatening tales, when the six Little Wizard Stories were revised and finished, ""nothing remain [ed]. . ."" (Hearn writes), ""that might trouble a child's sleep."" In the first story, for instance, the Cowardly Lion and his friend, the Hungry Tiger, tire of acting as Princess Ozma's guardians and merely looking fierce all day. Worried that the people of Oz neither fear them nor consider them anything more than ornaments, the two friends set out to ""stir up quite a rumpus,"" the Tiger by eating a fat baby, the Lion by tearing someone into 60 pieces. But the first fat baby the two spy is a lost child in distress, so the kindly Tiger rescues it; and the first woman they come upon is the lost child's distraught mother; so the gentle Lion reunites her with her baby. Then, greatly humbled, the friends return to the Emerald City, rationalizing their basic goodness by realizing that if they had succeeded, they would have lost their reputations, for the Tiger would no longer be hungry nor the Lion cowardly. Each tale carries a moral, yet none is preachy, and all are nicely cushioned by fun, fantasy, magic, and adventure. Oz fans will welcome the return of this volume of ""true Oz books in miniature.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
ISBN: 1604442174
Publisher: Schocken