Flashback Friday is something I’ve been doing here at Bookwraiths for a while now; a time when I can post my thoughts about books that I’ve read in the past but never gotten around to reviewing. With the hectic schedule of day-to-day life and trying to review new releases, there never seems enough time to give these old favorites the spotlight that they deserve. But with a day all to themselves, there is no reason I can’t revisit them, so let’s take a look at the sequel, if you will, of one of the most recognizable series out there.

marvelous land of oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Oz #2

Publisher: Puffin Classics (first published 1904)

Length: 192 pages

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Like many people my age, I actually remember when The Wizard of Oz movie being shown on network television every year was an event.  I mean, we didn’t have VCRs (Let alone DVDs) back in the dark ages, and so if you wanted to get a glimpse of Oz you had to plan your social schedule around being at home in front of your television at the appropriate time.  And for many years I always did.  But that is all I knew about Oz.

I really hate to admit that I never took the time when I was growing up to try to find any other Oz stories.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love Oz, because I did, but it wasn’t a priority like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica.  And when I did discover there were other books in the Oz series, I wasn’t too terribly interested in walking the yellow brick road anymore.  I was too mature.  Too cool.  Too … self absorbed.

Flash forward about thirty-five years.

My kids have watched The Wizard of Oz several times in their lives, then my youngest son gets really hyped (at least for a little while) about the soon-to-be-released The Great and Powerful Oz movie.  So, deciding to ride the interest, I find this book and give it a go as a bedtime story.

The tale takes place a short time after The Wizard of Oz, focusing on the adventures of a young boy named Tip.  But things don’t start out marvelous.  Instead a reader finds Tip leading a rather uneventful and arduous life on a farm, but soon he escapes from his unhappy existence and takes to the road determined to find his destiny.

Quickly, things get interesting: Tip growing close to his companion Jack Pumpkinhead and meeting some new people like the Wooden Sawhorse, the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, and the amazing Gump.  Old friends like the Scarecrow, Tinman, and others even show up.  And, naturally, we have new enemies to thwart like the evil witch Mombi and a rebellion of General Jinjur and her army of young women.

Never having read any of the Oz books, I have to say I was surprised by how humorous this story was. I won’t go so far as to say it was laugh out loud funny, but it had lots and lots of puns as well as humorous lines. That in itself made my kids and I enjoy reading the book together, causing it to be a fine bedtime story, but it also really helped to fan the flames of excitement for more Oz just before the release of The Great and Powerful Oz movie.

Even with that being said, the favorite parts of this read were the sections where the Tin Man and Scarecrow are the stars: the scenes of their bumbling around bringing back many good memories of watching the classic movie as a child. So if you enjoyed the classic movie, give this a try; it is worth the read.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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  1. I’ve only read the first one and this one (+ I read nearly half of The Emerald Burritto of Oz of which I was enjoying but got side-tracked and will return to it someday). I liked it and agree with your review & ratings, giving it a 3 1/2. Nice to see a modern review on this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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