The wizard of Oz was a childhood favourite of mine, so I was really excited and pleased to be offered the opportunity to introduce the story to my own little boy.
What’s the story?
This book sticks closely to the original story, as far as I can remember anyway! All the key characters and elements from the story are here (I’ll admit it is such a long time since I’ve read this story that I’d forgotten lots) – wicked and good witches, flying monkeys, sparkly shoes – silver this time not red as I remember, and of course Dorothy’s little dog Toto. This version is a good sized, hardback book published by Carlton books, priced £12.99, available from Amazon
What did Alex think?
Alex is four, and although he absolutely adores his books, this was a little long for a bedtime story so we tackled it in two parts. The pictures certainly helped him understand and we had lots of stops for him to ask questions about anything and everything he considered relevant!
As we were reading it, Alex looked faintly amused and mostly bemused as we kept bursting into songs, follow the yellow brick road…Ding Dong, the witch is dead…..because, because, because, because, because of the wonderful things he does… as he had absolutely no idea what we were singing! When asked what he liked best about the book he said “the flaps!” On the other hand…..
What did I think?
Most of the pages have some kind of flap, something to move or a pop-up and although they add interest I feel this is such a good book it doesn’t really need the novelty factor. They must, however, add to the printing costs and therefore the price of the book and I’m not sure they are worth it. The pictures on each page are large, bright and very detailed – they are a particular strength for me and make the book much more accessible for a wider age range. In my old fashioned and boring way of looking at things I would have preferred this book just to focus on a strong retelling and engaging illustrations.
For this book to be read, and understood, independently, I would imagine children would need to be closer to 8 or 9, but is definitely suitable for enjoying together for much younger children. The text is fairly lengthy but then it is a reasonably long and complex tale so to shorten it too much more would have been difficult. Some of the vocabulary choices are quite advanced – ushered, faltered, triumphantly, but the teacher in me feels that learning new words can only ever be a good thing!
Although Alex did enjoy and get a lot out of this book now, I think it will become more popular when he is a little bit older – a book to grow into. And I’m more than happy to have this version as the one my kids grow up with! We give it an 9/10, marked down just because of the, in my opinion only, superfluous flaps which detract slightly from a great story and lovely pictures.
Note, we were provided the product for the purposes of review for free, but all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links.