Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Stella Gurney and Lorna Freytag (Carlton Books)

There's a huge surge of interest in the definitive works of L Frank Baum this year. I'm referring, of course, to his amazing stories of Oz and with new movies on the way courtesy of Disney (a rather dark looking movie treatment at that), and new stage productions and even an animated tie-in too, there's plenty of Oz goodness to enjoy.

On the book side, there's this rather neat "pop up" book that mixes utterly beautiful artwork with photography to re-tell the most famous story in the series - Dorothy's first adventures in the magical land of Oz and her first meeting with some of the most well known characters in children's fiction. The Tin Man, The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion and of course the Wizard himself. Not forgetting the wicked witch of the east and her terrifying flying monkey soldiers.

Charlotte loves the Oz stories but is more interested in the fairly slimmed-down versions that have previously been available. This was a perfect book for her, with great interactive paper engineering complimenting the story. Unfortunately she managed to rip one of the parts where the paper mechanics were quite fragile but a spot of glue and a quick fix and all is once again well.

Stella Gurney retells the tale very well, and Lorna Freytag's illustrations are excellent too. Lots to love here so if your children go completely Oz crazy this year, this is a very good book to grab as a tie-in.

Charlotte's best bit: Dorothy's trip along the Yellow Brick Road and her meeting the Tin Man

Daddy's favourite bit: It's a heck of a year for Oz stuff and it's good to see a nice big beautifully presented version of the story retold in such a way. Excellent stuff.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Carlton Books Ltd)

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