The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

1900 children's novel by L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (sometimes called The Wizard of Oz) is a childrens' book. It was written by L. Frank Baum. The book was first published by the George M. Hill Company on 17 May 1900. The first edition has pictures drawn by W. W. Denslow. It is the first Oz book.

This is the original title page. At the bottom are pictures of the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow.

The story has been reprinted many times. New pictures have been made for the story and sometimes the title is just The Wizard of Oz. This is also the title of a musical play written in 1900 and a movie made in 1939 starring Judy Garland.

Story change

Dorothy Gale is a young girl who lives with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and dog, Toto, on a farm in Kansas. One day, Dorothy and Toto are caught up in a cyclone that takes them and the farmhouse into Munchkin Country in the magical Land of Oz. The falling house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East, the evil ruler of the Munchkins.

The Good Witch of the North arrives with three grateful Munchkins and gives Dorothy the magical silver shoes that originally belonged to the Wicked Witch. The Good Witch tells Dorothy that the only way she can return home to Kansas is to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and ask the great and powerful Wizard of Oz to help her. As Dorothy begins on her journey, the Good Witch of the North kisses her on the forehead, giving her magical protection from harm.

Dorothy meets the Lion

On her way down the yellow brick road, Dorothy frees a Scarecrow from the pole on which he is hanging, applies oil from a can to the rusted joints of a Tin Woodman, and meets a Cowardly Lion. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tin Woodman wants a heart, and the Lion wants courage, so Dorothy encourages them to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City to ask for help from the Wizard.

After several adventures, the travellers arrive at the Emerald City and meet the Guardian of the Gates, who asks them to wear green tinted glasses to keep their eyes from being blinded by the city's brilliance. Each one is called to see the Wizard. He agrees to help them all if they kill the Wicked Witch of the West, who rules over Winkie Country. The Guardian warns them that no one has ever managed to defeat the Witch of the West.

Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch

The Wicked Witch of the West uses the power of her Golden Cap to send the Winged Monkeys to capture Dorothy, Toto, and the Lion. Dorothy is forced to become the witch's slave, while the Witch schemes to steal her silver shoes' powerful magic. The witch tricks Dorothy out of one of her silver shoes. Angered, Dorothy throws a bucket of water at the witch and is shocked to see her melt away. Dorothy finds the witch's Golden Cap and summons the Winged Monkeys to carry her and her friends back to the Emerald City.

When Dorothy and her friends meet the Wizard again, Toto tips over a screen in a corner of the throne room that reveals "the Wizard", who sadly explains he is a humbug—an ordinary old man who, by a hot air balloon, came to Oz long ago from Omaha. He decides to take Dorothy and Toto home in his balloon. Toto chases a kitten in the crowd and Dorothy goes after him, but the ropes holding the balloon break and the Wizard floats away without them.

The Soldier with the Green Whiskers informs Dorothy that Glinda, the Good Witch of the South may be able to help her return home. Dorothy summons the Winged Monkeys a third time to fly them over a hill to Glinda's castle. Glinda reveals that Dorothy's silver shoes can take her anywhere she wishes to go. Dorothy takes Toto in her arms, knocks her heels together three times, and wishes to return home. As the magical silver shoes take her to Kansas, they fall off and are lost forever.