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The Road to Oz

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Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytell Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytellers. Book Jungle is proud to bring these rare volumes back into public use and to make them availableto everyone.


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Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytell Book Jungle provides classic literature in a modern format. Thousands of historical titles are now readily available to the public. Because of the original condition of many of these historical manuscripts, imperfections are possible. The value of these manuscripts lies in their historical significance and vivid accounts of the world from thousands of authors and storytellers. Book Jungle is proud to bring these rare volumes back into public use and to make them availableto everyone.

30 review for The Road to Oz

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    A shaggy-looking guy called Shaggy Man asked Dorothy for directions; the latter trying to show the right road completely lost her way and the pair ended up in a magical land - not Oz, but somewhere close to it geographically. Their decided to proceed to Oz instead of going back to Kansas. By doing so they met a lot of magical creatures and saw a lot of magical countries. In the review of a previous book of the series I mentioned that L. Frank Baum had great imagination which was clearly demonstr A shaggy-looking guy called Shaggy Man asked Dorothy for directions; the latter trying to show the right road completely lost her way and the pair ended up in a magical land - not Oz, but somewhere close to it geographically. Their decided to proceed to Oz instead of going back to Kansas. By doing so they met a lot of magical creatures and saw a lot of magical countries. In the review of a previous book of the series I mentioned that L. Frank Baum had great imagination which was clearly demonstrated by the different magical creatures living in Oz and around. This time the creatures in question were so much out of this world that I began to suspect Baum's imagination was helped by some drugs: I mean mind-altering kind, and not weak ones either. I have yet to see such bizarre creatures anywhere else. This is one of the reasons I keep reading the series by the way. It is curious to see that only one hundred years ago it was perfectly normal for a grown-up man to ask an unattended young girl for directions without being accused of pedophilia. It was also perfectly normal for a said young girl to play outside without any supervision. While the magical creatures are great the same cannot be said about Dorothy's travelling companions. Shaggy Man is probably the best one, but he remains undeveloped even for a children book. I could not help thinking about this guy: Button Bright comes out like a complete retard even considering his age. The guy who only says, "I don't know" may sound cute first couple of hundred times, but after this it becomes really old really fast. Besides, a child travelling with strangers for a number of days and never mentioning his parents (children psychology is wired to constantly be with his/her parents first several years of his/her life) does sound somewhat lacking in mental department, thus my remark about him being a retard. Everything we know about Polychrome is that she dances a lot and drinks exclusively morning dew. So 4 start for the imagination and 2 start for characterization averages 3 stars as the overall rating.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    Another trip to Oz for Dorothy and Toto lovers will be pleased to hear that her little dog is along for the ride again this time. Speaking of Toto, I'm slightly puzzled as to why every other animal arriving in Oz suddenly develops the capacity for human speech but Toto sticks to barks and woofs. Perhaps he feels doggy talk is superior to people chatter... I enjoyed most of the new characters introduced in this volume, particularly the Shaggy Man (cripes, Scoob!), but found Button-Bright to be larg Another trip to Oz for Dorothy and Toto lovers will be pleased to hear that her little dog is along for the ride again this time. Speaking of Toto, I'm slightly puzzled as to why every other animal arriving in Oz suddenly develops the capacity for human speech but Toto sticks to barks and woofs. Perhaps he feels doggy talk is superior to people chatter... I enjoyed most of the new characters introduced in this volume, particularly the Shaggy Man (cripes, Scoob!), but found Button-Bright to be largely pointless. Baum makes a big deal about his amnesia and I was expecting there to be some kind of revelation as to his true identity at some point, but it never arrived. Still, this was an enjoyable adventure for the little ones, nonetheless.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Catching up with the classics # 11 Well just whimsical I always enjoy an Oz novel, even if it’s the new Dorothy Must Die series, which one can appreciate so much more the more one reads these old school Baum books. This time it is Ozma’s birthday, so it’s time to celebrate! We meet some new friends while inviting some old favorites. Such a quick read too!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    So I hated this book. Like a lot. I got this way back in February and only finished it in July because I started going through my Kindle device and started downloading books to read back in February. I originally only read 4 percent and said nope and put the book aside. When I finished it in July I decided that was it for me, no more Oz books. The only saving grace is that I didn't pay money for it. I got it for free on Amazon. Dorothy is still a pain in the butt who doesn't have the common sense So I hated this book. Like a lot. I got this way back in February and only finished it in July because I started going through my Kindle device and started downloading books to read back in February. I originally only read 4 percent and said nope and put the book aside. When I finished it in July I decided that was it for me, no more Oz books. The only saving grace is that I didn't pay money for it. I got it for free on Amazon. Dorothy is still a pain in the butt who doesn't have the common sense to get out of the rain. Her "speaking" is downright annoying at this point in the series. I think I may have screamed enunciate at one point and screamed it so loud I blacked out. We also have some new characters in this book called the Shaggy Man (who I swear was about to do something awful to Dorothy, Button-Bright, and Polychrome who is a daughter of the Rainbow. What starts off this new adventure is that when Dorothy meets the Shaggy Man he asks her for directions, and instead of just giving them to this total stranger, she decides to show him the way. I swear Dorothy needs to be held up as literary symbol to children to not ever do things like this when they are reading this book. I mean in the book Dorothy calls the Shaggy Man stupid so she decides she must take him to Butterfield (the place he is going) and actually says out loud that the man is stupid. After going down a path (the 7th one) the party of three comes upon Button-Bright. Once again we have Dorothy calling someone stupid after knowing them for all of five minutes. Eventually the foursome comes across a strange village of talking foxes and from there the story just progresses until they meet up with Polychrome. Shockingly enough Dorothy doesn't call her stupid. From there there is a just a series of adventures of the new group of five to get to The Emerald City where Dorothy surmises that Ozma of Oz will be able to help them all out. We have some reappearances of fan favorites of the series. We have Billina the talking hen who to this day was the funniest character ever for reading Dorothy like she was a book. There was also Tik-Tok who was sent off to fetch Dorothy by Ozma. I did wonder why the heck Ozma didn't just magic herself to Dorothy and crew and magic them back to Emerald City, but hey that would have made the book end at about 60 percent (which I would have been happy with...like a lot). We also have the Tin Man (not a fan of his at all) and he is still Emperor though there doesn't appear to be anyone else around in his castle. It was so weird and I couldn't guess why and really didn't care at that point. We even have The Cowardly Lion, the Tiger, and Jack in this one. I loved them all in earlier works, but this one, eh not so much. There really isn't anything new in this series at this point. We have a series of adventures and Dorothy scolding people left, right, and sideways. We have the not too bright character actually appearing to have some sense. And we have everything wrapping up nicely in the end with another party in Oz.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    While not as dark as the last book, The Road to Oz has many similarities to Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. Again, our little heroine unintentionally sets off on a journey during which she meets a host of new characters, experiences a few easily-overcome challenges, and ends up in Oz. This time, though, there wasn't really any conflict and only one encounter with a malicious opponent on their travels. The Shaggy Man was actually a bit creepy at the beginning (my kids have been taught to run and fi While not as dark as the last book, The Road to Oz has many similarities to Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. Again, our little heroine unintentionally sets off on a journey during which she meets a host of new characters, experiences a few easily-overcome challenges, and ends up in Oz. This time, though, there wasn't really any conflict and only one encounter with a malicious opponent on their travels. The Shaggy Man was actually a bit creepy at the beginning (my kids have been taught to run and find a parent if an adult they don't know asks them for directions!), though, of course, he turned out all right. Several of the new characters just stuck in my craw. Button Bright was just annoying...If he'd said "don't know" one more time I might have reached through the pages of the book and throttled him. And what, pray tell, was Polychrome's purpose (besides encouraging anorexia)? She was about as engaging as a piece of lint - a very pretty, variegated piece of lint, to be sure, but still...blah. With these last two books it really seems that Mr. Baum was frustrated in his desires to write something other than Oz books, so he decided to set the books elsewhere and just have the characters end up in Oz so he could slap those two letters on the cover of the book and make money while trying to branch out into other "fairylands". I enjoyed reading all these when I was a kid, and my kids are loving them now, but as an adult, they're wearing a bit thin. And I felt awfully bad for the poor Musicker, not getting an invite to Ozma's party. No one, in a land where kindness and generosity are supposed to reign supreme, was even the tiniest bit kind to the poor guy who can't help making music. For more book reviews, come visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    TJ✨

    So im reading all the Oz books plus the side books but feeling a little sick so review to come when i'm feeling better

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. This review covers all 14 of the Baum Oz books, which is why it's found on all 14 book pages here.) I think it's fairly safe by now to assume that nearly everyone in Western society is familiar with The Wizard of Oz, most of us because of the classic 1939 movie adaptation; and many realize as well tha (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. This review covers all 14 of the Baum Oz books, which is why it's found on all 14 book pages here.) I think it's fairly safe by now to assume that nearly everyone in Western society is familiar with The Wizard of Oz, most of us because of the classic 1939 movie adaptation; and many realize as well that author L. Frank Baum ended up penning a whole series of sequels, because of the original book's astounding success back at the turn of the 20th century when it was first published -- 13 sequels altogether, before his death in 1919, which after the movie's success twenty years later became a literal merchandising empire, spawning hundreds more official sequels by various authors and hundreds more unofficial ones once the characters moved into the public domain. And like many others, I've always been interested in what these 14 "canonical" Oz books have to say; and that's why I decided this winter to sit down and read them all in a row for the first time, easy to do because of them being available for free at both Project Gutenberg and the email subscription service DailyLit (which is how I myself read them, and in fact is how I read many of the older books you see reviewed here; I'm a big fan of theirs, and highly recommend them). But of course, to even approach these books with the right mindset, it's important to understand that like so many other one-hit-wonders, Baum was not only eluded by success in most of his other endeavors but was an active failure at them -- in the 1870s, for example, he unsuccessfully tried his hand at breeding fancy poultry (a national fad at the time), then in the 1880s opened his own theatre and became one of the first-ever Americans to produce modern-style stage musicals, apparently a little too ahead of its time, then in the 1890s moved to the Dakota Territory and opened a dry-goods store that eventually failed, as well as starting a newspaper that folded too. So it was sort of a case of random lightning in a bottle when he decided in the late 1890s to try his hand at children's literature, and ended up with his very first title being the most popular kid's book in America for two years straight, and no surprise that Baum then spent the rest of his life desperately trying to figure out how to bottle that lightning again. Because now that I've read it myself, I can confirm that the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz is astonishingly great, a sort of miraculous combination of traits that makes for an almost perfect children's story; and although most of it follows the same storyline seen in the '39 movie, there are also significant differences, making it worth your while to sit and read the book version if you have the interest. (And by the way, for some really interesting reading, check out the academic analysis that was done of this book in the 1960s, arguing that most of its details symbolically correspond almost exactly to various political and economic issues of the late 1800s, including the yellow brick road representing the much-discussed gold standard of that age, the scarecrow representing the then-hot Populist Party, Toto representing the teetotaler [prohibitionist:] movement, and a lot more.) But of course, there are a couple of details about this book that have been forgotten over the decades too, which also help explain its record-shattering success -- it was an unusually lavish book for its time, for example, with two-toned illustrations on every page and several full-color plates, and let's also not forget that Baum himself mounted a Broadway-style musical of Oz just two years after the book was published, a huge hit which toured nationally for a decade and that was even more insanely popular than the book itself (including making national stars out of vaudeville performers Fred Stone and David Montgomery, playing the Scarecrow and Tin Man; the stage production left out the Cowardly Lion altogether, which is why he is also barely seen in any of the 13 canonical sequels). And so that's why when Baum attempted starting up other fantasy series in the wake of Oz's success, hoping to turn all of them into lucrative franchises like the original, the audience mostly responded with yawns; and that's why Baum eventually went back to writing more and more Oz books as the 20th century continued, because by now the strength of the brand far outweighed the relative writing skills of Baum when it came to any particular volume. That's why, at least to adults, it's perhaps actually the introductions to each book that are the most fascinating thing about them; because to be frank, most of the books follow a pretty familiar formula, with a danger-filled quest involving various kooky characters that is usually finished about two-thirds of the way through, followed by a massive parade or party that lets Baum trot out the growing number of main characters added to this universe with each title. (And by the way, prepare yourself for Baum's unending love of the deus-ex-machina plot device; over half the books end along the lines of, "And then our heroes took possession of a super-duper magical device, which they waved in the air and all their troubles went away.") In fact, for those who don't know, that's why the official map of Oz and its surrounding lands eventually grew so large, because Baum still hadn't given up on his dream of having a whole series of kid-lit cash cows out there generating revenue for him, and so would use many of these Oz sequels to introduce entirely new casts of characters who live in entirely new lands, "just over the mountains" or "just past the desert" of Oz itself. By the end of the original 14 books, in fact, Baum had built up a virtual aristocracy of licensable characters, all of whom would have to be dragged out for a cameo at some point in each book to remind the audience of their existence -- not just the cast of the original book and '39 movie but also various other princesses like Ozma and Betsy Bobbin, boy characters like Ojo the Unlucky and Button Bright, adults who help them like the Shaggy Man, Cap'n Bill and Ugu the Shoemaker, and of course a whole litany of quirky fantastical sidekicks, including but not limited to Tik-Tok, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Great Jinjin, Billina the Angry Hen, Scraps the Patchwork Girl, and Polychrome the Rainbow Fairy. Whew! And so did the Great Oz Merchandising Experiment keep limping along for two decades, with each sequel selling less and less and getting lazier and lazier (for example, the tenth book in the series, 1916's Rinkitink in Oz, was actually a non-Oz book written a decade previous, published almost unchanged except for a hasty final chapter full of Oz regulars slapped onto the end); and thus did Baum's bad luck in business come back with a vengeance as well, with three more Broadway productions that were all flops, and even the establishment of a film production company in 1914 that eventually went bankrupt. You can see the progression of all this reflected in Baum's first-person introductions to each book, which like I said is why they might be the most fascinating parts of all for adult readers -- how in the first sequel, for example, he expresses legitimately gleeful surprise and joy at how passionate his fans were, and how thousands of children had literally written to him out of the blue demanding more Oz stories, while with each subsequent sequel his tone becomes more and more snarky, ala "Well, dear and wonderful children, you've yet again demanded another Oz book like the sheep you are, so here it is, you screeching little monsters." In fact, in book six of the series, 1910's The Emerald City of Oz, Baum flat-out states that it's going to be the very last Oz book, and it's no coincidence that many fans actually consider this one to be the best of the original fourteen, because of Baum's extra attention to and enthusiasm for this particular storyline, thinking as he erroneously did that it would be the grand finale of the entire Oz universe; but after his later financial failures forced him back into the Oz business again, the gloves finally come off in his introductions, with most of the rest sounding to today's ears something like, "Well, okay, here again is the sugary teat you all apparently can't get enough of suckling, you infuriating little animals, so open wide and take your medicine." Now, of course, you shouldn't feel too bad for Baum; by the last years of his life, his combined books and plays were generating for him in today's terms roughly a quarter-million dollars a year just in personal royalties. So all in all, an experience I'm glad I had, reading all fourteen original Oz books in a row, but not something I'd recommend to others; instead, maybe better just to read the first, then skip to the sixth, then skip straight to the 14th, 1920's Glinda of Oz, because of its unusual darkness (probably caused, many scholars agree, by Baum knowing that he was near death). As with many authors I've looked at here at CCLaP, history seems to have correctly adjusted itself in Baum's case, with most of his books now rightfully falling into the obscurity they deserve, even while his one true masterpiece is still rightfully recognized as such.

  8. 5 out of 5

    akiko

    3.5 Stars Dorothy gets lost about 15 minutes away from her house in Kansas after she decides to help a stranger, Shaggy Man, get to Butterfield. One thing leads to another and she's no longer in Kansas anymore. As the Shaggy Man and Dorothy try to find their way, they meet up with other individuals who have lost their way: Button-Bright and Polychrome (the daughter of the rainbow). Their adventures include: the secret behind the love magnet, entering the town of Foxville, the queen of the Scoodlers 3.5 Stars Dorothy gets lost about 15 minutes away from her house in Kansas after she decides to help a stranger, Shaggy Man, get to Butterfield. One thing leads to another and she's no longer in Kansas anymore. As the Shaggy Man and Dorothy try to find their way, they meet up with other individuals who have lost their way: Button-Bright and Polychrome (the daughter of the rainbow). Their adventures include: the secret behind the love magnet, entering the town of Foxville, the queen of the Scoodlers, the Truth Pond, Ozma's birthday Party, why the way to Butterfield got split 7 ways, etc.. I got bored at some of the story because the general story arc (moving from town to town) was similar to other Oz books, but I particularly enjoyed some things that were revealed closer to the end that I wasn't expecting. This is a rather fun kid's story, and one day I plan to finish reading all of the Oz books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This, is, quite frankly, the worst of all the Oz books I've read. I got the feeling that, by the end, Baum was bored with writing it and just stopped trying. It starts rather disturbingly in that Dorothy walks away from her farm alone with a stranger called The Shaggy Man who says that he's lost and needs directions. Since Dorothy has no sense at all of stranger danger, she goes off with this man who swears that he has a "love magnet" that attracts everyone to him. Eventually, he leads Dorothy i This, is, quite frankly, the worst of all the Oz books I've read. I got the feeling that, by the end, Baum was bored with writing it and just stopped trying. It starts rather disturbingly in that Dorothy walks away from her farm alone with a stranger called The Shaggy Man who says that he's lost and needs directions. Since Dorothy has no sense at all of stranger danger, she goes off with this man who swears that he has a "love magnet" that attracts everyone to him. Eventually, he leads Dorothy into his cottage in the woods, tortures her, chops her up, and eats her. Wait. No. That last bit didn't happen, much to the reader's surprise. Instead, the 2 wander along, both lost. Dorothy assumes the road they've taken must lead to Oz because she always ends up there when she gets lost. Along the way, they meet many new people (as usual in these novels), several of which tell her to ask Ozma if it would be okay if they came to Ozma's birthday party. Before long, the journey turns into a journey to attend Ozma's birthday party. I'm always impressed with Baum's ability to create memorable characters. The most significant new character that Dorothy meets on the road to Oz is The Rainbow's Daughter who is named Polychrome. My daughter insists that she must dress as Polychrome next Halloween. Once the traveling group arrives in Oz, Baum spends chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter having every person from the previous 4 books show up to the party (along with several new ones). The interesting thing is that, even though some of the characters only appeared briefly in some of the other books of the series, they're all instantly memorable when they arrive for the party. I marvel at Baum's ability to create such a plethora of memorable characters, fully and memorably fleshing each of them out in just a paragraph or 2 when they're first introduced. But reading about each of them arriving to Ozma's party for chapter on end without any plot made me wonder if it became as much of a chore for Baum to write as it was for me to read. Even the events of the party were written without any feeling. The last part of the book was very much told rather than shown. It feels as if Baum was too bored with the book to bother writing by the time he got to the birthday party scene. By the time all of the characters showed up to the party, I wasn't surprised at all that Santa Claus showed up as well. We'll have to read Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus in December. Perhaps that shall be more interesting. Other than meeting The Rainbow's Daughter, I could have skipped this book. It may be quite a while before I'm tempted to move forward with the series. I probably will eventually, but I doubt it will be any time soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I've been reading my way through the Oz books lately in order to fill in some gaps of children's literature I'd missed as a kid. I wasn't too happy with the previous story because it felt like Baum didn't really feel any of it and just wrote Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz because he was pressured by a publisher as well as ravenous fans who wrote him imploring for more Oz. I found myself more than a little peeved that he allowed children to dictate what he put in his book. Sure, he pleased his fans I've been reading my way through the Oz books lately in order to fill in some gaps of children's literature I'd missed as a kid. I wasn't too happy with the previous story because it felt like Baum didn't really feel any of it and just wrote Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz because he was pressured by a publisher as well as ravenous fans who wrote him imploring for more Oz. I found myself more than a little peeved that he allowed children to dictate what he put in his book. Sure, he pleased his fans, I suppose, but that never makes for good storytelling. There was no conflict and was just a series of bizarre encounters. There's also no question of whether or not Dorothy will return home anymore (spoiler alert: she does). Our girl Dorothy is getting rather used to her visits to fairylands and seems all rather chill about it all. So, again, with this book, we have a series of bizarre encounters and no real conflict, danger, or desire. We've stopped worrying whether or not Dorothy will get back to Kansas, and so has she. There is no dramatic arc going on. Everything is all hunky dory, except for a run in with the Scoodlers (who remind me of the Fireys from "Labyrinth") who want to make Dorothy and her pals into soup. Other than that, it's just Dorothy and a bunch of weirdos on their way to see Ozma for her birthday (which is August 21st - mark your calendars, folks!) In this adventure, it's Dorothy's three new companions that need to find their homes: The Shaggy Man to a new home, Polychrome back to the rainbow, and Button-Bright back to wherever the hell he came from. The story opens with Dorothy's encounter with the Shaggy Man, which is totes creepy. He and Dorothy meet when he passes by her home in Kansas and asks her for directions. She attempts to oblige him, but it isn't going so well. Dorothy decides the best way to get him there is to take him herself. She excuses herself to run inside to grab her bonnet -- something I was hoping was just a ruse to yell for Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to call the cops. But, no, I guess Stranger Danger wasn't an issue in early 1900s Kansas. For some reason. And away they go. As soon as the Shaggy Man (who doesn't have a name, that we know of, and just answers the "Shaggy Man") has gotten Dorothy far enough away from home to realize she's lost, he reveals he has a super special magic token called a "love magnet" that makes people love him no matter what and in any circumstance. RUN, DOROTHY, RUN. Well, hang in there, folks, it turns out it's not meant to be creepy at all and it's actually good that he has this object because it ends up helping the out of a few tight spots. And, really, I do appreciate what Baum was trying to do here and show that this guy is really a sweet, good man beneath his shaggy appearance and just wants to be seen for more than that without changing who he is. But, lordy, that is not the way this reads today. Soon afterwards she meets the idiot Button-Bright who I just can't even. No. So I only adored about one-third of Dorothy's new companions. "A little girl, radiant and beautiful, shapely as a fairy and exquisitely dressed, was dancing gracefully in the middle of a lonely road, whirling slowly this way and that, her dainty feet twinkling in sprightly fashion. She was clad in flowing, fluffy robes of soft material that reminded Dorothy of woven cobwebs, only it was colored in soft tintings of violet, rose, topaz, olive, azure, and white, mingled together most harmoniously in stripes which melted one into the other with soft blendings. Her hair was spun like gold and floated around her in a cloud, no strand being fastened or confined by either pin or ornament or ribbon." (page 60) I am a sucker for colors and rainbows and fairies, so, of course, I am a sucker for Polychrome's adorable spirit - even though the poor girl doesn't get anything to do (except dance to keep warm) (and be adorable all the time). Some other observations: -I couldn't help but think that the chapter headings resembled the female reproductive system. -"Everything about Ozma attracted one, and she inspired love and the sweetest affection rather than awe or ordinary admiration. Dorothy threw her arms around her little friend and hugged and kissed her rapturously." (page 204) Whoa. Should I be shipping Dozma? "You have some queer friends, Dorothy." [Polychrome] said. "The queerness doesn't matter, so long as they're friends," was the answer." (page 184) "It isn't what we are, but what folks think we are, that counts in this world." -The Hungry Tiger, page 185 I love that dude. And this passage: "There were many people on these walks - men, women, and children - all dressed in handsome garments of silk or satin or velvet, with beautiful jewels. Better even than this: all seemed happy and contented, for their faces were smiling and free from care, and music and laughter might be heard on every side. 'Don't they work at all?' asked the shaggy man. 'To be sure they work,' replied the Tin Woodsman; 'this fair city could not be built or cared for without labor, nor could the fruit and vegetables and other food be provided for the inhabitants to eat. But no one works for more than half his time, and the people of Oz enjoy their labors as much as they do their play.' (page 191) The Emerald City is a shining beacon of socialism, huh? And I'm going to end this mess with this image of His Royal Foxiness.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    As I continue to read these books as an adult I am shocked by what Baum has gotten away with as an author. Some of the spark that I had for this series as a child is quickly leaving as I realize some of the mechanics that he uses as an author that I simply am not fond of or even okay with. He often calls people or things stupid in his books. He belittles frequently and he continues to do that in this book. He also doesn't seem to be that respectful for the most part to his actual fans. It become As I continue to read these books as an adult I am shocked by what Baum has gotten away with as an author. Some of the spark that I had for this series as a child is quickly leaving as I realize some of the mechanics that he uses as an author that I simply am not fond of or even okay with. He often calls people or things stupid in his books. He belittles frequently and he continues to do that in this book. He also doesn't seem to be that respectful for the most part to his actual fans. It becomes more apparent as you continue to read that has is increasingly becoming annoyed with having to write about Oz all the time, even though he keeps saying at the beginning of the books that he is doing this for the children. This book has several introductions of characters to Oz. Polychrome, the Rainbow's daughter, happens to be one of the more interesting ones introduced. The Shaggy Man also seems to be a rather interesting character as well and I hope that he is continued to be used throughout the series. Baum again makes the majority of the book next take place in oz proper and then suddenly we are in oz. Baum found a formula that he likes to use because he wanted to tell other stories. In this book he even makes a point to almost advertise all these other books that he created by who attends the party at the end. These other stories he created show up and to me that was not needed because of how many characters already inhabit the land of oz itself. Maybe as a grown up individual I can no longer appreciate these books the same way I could as a child. Sometimes we have to recognize that we have outgrown something that we once loved.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    OK. It’s obvious what’s going on here. As L. Frank Baum explained in the foreword to one of the OZ books (and I’ve seen such sentiments in some of his other forewords, too): It's no use; no use at all. The children won't let me stop telling tales of the Land of Oz. I know lots of other stories, and I hope to tell them, some time or another; but just now my loving tyrants won't allow me. They cry: "Oz — Oz! more about Oz, Mr. Baum!" and what can I do but obey their commands? I think it’s sweet tha OK. It’s obvious what’s going on here. As L. Frank Baum explained in the foreword to one of the OZ books (and I’ve seen such sentiments in some of his other forewords, too): It's no use; no use at all. The children won't let me stop telling tales of the Land of Oz. I know lots of other stories, and I hope to tell them, some time or another; but just now my loving tyrants won't allow me. They cry: "Oz — Oz! more about Oz, Mr. Baum!" and what can I do but obey their commands? I think it’s sweet that Baum wanted to satisfy his readers, but these stories are starting to feel like they were quickly and thoughtlessly thrown together just to satisfy those loving tyrants. In The Road to Oz, Dorothy and Toto meet the Shaggy Man who carries a love magnet so that everyone... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    When a shaggy traveler asks Dorothy Gale the way to Butterfield, the helpful young Kansas girl sets out to show him the way, only to find herself caught up in another magical adventure when the road inexplicably shifts, leading her and her companion into fairyland. Soon meeting Button Bright, a beautiful but not-so-clever toddler, as well as Polychrome, the lost daughter of the rainbow, the companions slowly make their way closer and closer to Oz, hoping to attend Ozma's upcoming birthday celebr When a shaggy traveler asks Dorothy Gale the way to Butterfield, the helpful young Kansas girl sets out to show him the way, only to find herself caught up in another magical adventure when the road inexplicably shifts, leading her and her companion into fairyland. Soon meeting Button Bright, a beautiful but not-so-clever toddler, as well as Polychrome, the lost daughter of the rainbow, the companions slowly make their way closer and closer to Oz, hoping to attend Ozma's upcoming birthday celebration. On their way they encounter a kingdom of foxes, a society of donkeys, and a group of sinister Scoodlers. With the help of magical jack-of-all-trades Jonny Dooit, they manage to cross the great desert surrounding Oz, and are soon on their way to the Emerald City, there to witness the pomp and ceremony of Ozma's great celebration... Originally published in 1909, this fifth Oz book from L. Frank Baum is quite interesting for the author's fans (more on that anon), although not one of the stronger Oz stories, judged on its own merits. Despite his 'love magnet,' I have always had troubling taking the Shaggy Man as much to heart as I wanted to - he always seems as if he should be more endearing than he is - and have always found Button Bright distinctly annoying. Polychrome is an appealing character, but as is often the case with Baum, she is underdeveloped. The story is somewhat disjointed, and its eventual object - getting the travelers to the Emerald City for Ozma's birthday - never feels particularly compelling. That said, I was charmed by the multicolored paper used for this facsimile edition of the book - a tribute to Polychrome, perhaps? - and enjoyed picking out all the references to Baum's other works, in the attendees at Ozma's party. There are figures from other Oz stories, from the Royal family of Ev ( Ozma of Oz ) to the Braided Man ( Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ), as well as characters from non-Oz fantasies, like Queen Zixi of Ix , Dot and Tot of Merryland , John Dough and the Cherub , and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus . Despite the pleasure of identifying these characters, The Road to Oz is only a low three-star read for me, and would probably only merit two, were I not sentimentally attached to it, after reading it in childhood.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    3.5 stars for me. I was thinking 2-2.5 Stars most of this book. Nothing too exciting UNTIL Ozma had her birthday party. Love the eclectic group of guests! Such gaiety! Grandiose and picturesque shows! Stately dinners! And a spectacular exodus! Whoop to the author!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    These books are starting to feel a little repetitive. Somehow Dorothy, unintentionally, ends up on a journey to find OZ and along the way she meets a new cast of eccentric characters and/or she is reunited with every eccentric character she has met on her previous journeys. Maybe I need take a longer break before I read the next book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    I was first given a copy of this for my birthday when I was about 9 or 10, and read it several times. I never read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a child (only been terrified of the flying monkeys in the movie!), nor did I know until then that there were any other Oz stories. Thanks to Project Gutenberg I was able to read it again and see that it pretty much stands the test of time, though I wonder what today's helicopter parents would make of the Scoodlers. Kids, however, often like to be scared I was first given a copy of this for my birthday when I was about 9 or 10, and read it several times. I never read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a child (only been terrified of the flying monkeys in the movie!), nor did I know until then that there were any other Oz stories. Thanks to Project Gutenberg I was able to read it again and see that it pretty much stands the test of time, though I wonder what today's helicopter parents would make of the Scoodlers. Kids, however, often like to be scared a bit by something they know to be impossible and unreal; I know they didn't bother me at all in those days, though today I find them pretty creepy! In the forword Baum announces that this is positively the last Oz book he intends to write; fortunately, that didn't happen. Dorothy tries to direct a Shaggy Man to Butterfield, but gets lost along the way. All roads lead to Oz in her world, and after a few adventures she is just in time for Princess Ozma's birthday celebration. I love the illustrations as much now as I did back then, except for the circle of laughing heads at the head of the chapters. They creeped me out then, and the still do today! The one false note in the story for the today-me is the presence of Santa Claus at Princess Ozma's party. I don't know, he just seems out of place. But then I was never allowed to "believe" in Santa anyway. A GR friend suggested I download some of the stories I'd never read; I think they'll make great holiday reading.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Um, really? These books are just getting weirder and more inconsistent...which is probably still good for young readers, but not so much for adults. The rules keep changing, and are somehow different for some people than others. Animals can talk in fairy countries (except, of course for Toto, for some unknown reason). A bear-skin rug brought to life cannot speak because he has no lungs (yet the Pumpkin Head and Wooden Sawhorse brought to life by the same exact magic can speak...without lungs, ton Um, really? These books are just getting weirder and more inconsistent...which is probably still good for young readers, but not so much for adults. The rules keep changing, and are somehow different for some people than others. Animals can talk in fairy countries (except, of course for Toto, for some unknown reason). A bear-skin rug brought to life cannot speak because he has no lungs (yet the Pumpkin Head and Wooden Sawhorse brought to life by the same exact magic can speak...without lungs, tongues, lips, etc.). And, um, Santa...really? There's no moral or lessons to learn here (which was Baum's point to begin with...but...), characters are terribly opinionated, pretty rude, and quite vain. But, at last, we finally get to travel by bubble. :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Another great Oz book! Dorothy meets the Shaggy Man, a friendly man who is sorta of lost, who wants to know the way to Butterfield. Dorothy starts walking with him and suddenly she gets lost! She meets a little boy, named Button-Bright, who is also very lost. They start walking in hopes of finding Oz, instead they wander into a fox kingdom. They are immediately taken to the king. The king asks Button-Bright some questions, to which he answers "Don't know". Apparently, the king is pleased with thi Another great Oz book! Dorothy meets the Shaggy Man, a friendly man who is sorta of lost, who wants to know the way to Butterfield. Dorothy starts walking with him and suddenly she gets lost! She meets a little boy, named Button-Bright, who is also very lost. They start walking in hopes of finding Oz, instead they wander into a fox kingdom. They are immediately taken to the king. The king asks Button-Bright some questions, to which he answers "Don't know". Apparently, the king is pleased with this and as a "reward" turns Button-Bright's head into a fox's head. He also asks for an invitation to Princess Ozma's birthday. And yet again, Dorothy and her friends are on their way to Oz. While they are walking they meet a dancing girl, named Polychrome. She is the Rainbow's daughter. She fell off the rainbow and is now trying to get back to her home. Then they wander into a donkey village and again the king wants to go to Ozma's party. They stay for the night and then they are back on the road to Oz. Then they go the truth pond and Button-Bright gets his head back, but that's not the end of their troubles. Eventually, they make it to Ozma's party and Santa Claus and the old wizard is there. The wizard then sends everyone home by blowing bubbles around them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kami

    - I'm starting to feel like the stories are the same, but with different companions and lands to visit. - I liked this book, but the ending was a tad boring. Ozma's party was just list after list after list. There was a lot of listing and telling, and I wish I had been more immersed in her party. - I really wish there was a new illustrator. I'm tired of John R. Neill's pictures. - L. Frank Baum was very dedicated to his readers. They asked for more Oz, and he delivered. I really enjoy reading his - I'm starting to feel like the stories are the same, but with different companions and lands to visit. - I liked this book, but the ending was a tad boring. Ozma's party was just list after list after list. There was a lot of listing and telling, and I wish I had been more immersed in her party. - I really wish there was a new illustrator. I'm tired of John R. Neill's pictures. - L. Frank Baum was very dedicated to his readers. They asked for more Oz, and he delivered. I really enjoy reading his letters at the beginning of each book. - Button Bright and Polly were kinda useless. I don't know what their purpose was. They didn't add to the story at all. The Shaggy Man was the only one who helped Dorothy along the journey. - I'm not to the burned out phase yet, but I think I'm getting there. I hope Baum changes up the formula a little in the next books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    A clueless boy in a sailor suit named Button Bright, a hobo with a "Love Magnet" called simply Shaggy Man, the Rainbow's daughter Polly Chrome and all the usual suspects combine to make a truly yawn-inducing 5th volume in the Oz series. This one reveals that no one ever dies in the Land of Oz. What???? It took over a month to read this one to my boys, in part because it's summer, but mostly because I lost my will to read. This will be our last Oz book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    This one starts out a little creepy: Dorothy, back in Kansas, meets a shady character called "The Shaggy Man," who asks her to show him the way to Butterfield. Way too many tragic stories start like that, eh? Worse, he claims to have a "love magnet" in his pocket that will instantly cause anyone he meets to love him. But no, it's all innocent, okay? Even though modern readers are going to be totally creeped out by this. The Shaggy Man doesn't even get a name. Everyone just calls him "Shaggy Man" f This one starts out a little creepy: Dorothy, back in Kansas, meets a shady character called "The Shaggy Man," who asks her to show him the way to Butterfield. Way too many tragic stories start like that, eh? Worse, he claims to have a "love magnet" in his pocket that will instantly cause anyone he meets to love him. But no, it's all innocent, okay? Even though modern readers are going to be totally creeped out by this. The Shaggy Man doesn't even get a name. Everyone just calls him "Shaggy Man" for the rest of the book. Zoinks, Scoob! Of course, on the way to Butterfield, they get totally lost, and decide they'll just keep on traveling until they get to the Emerald City. Unlike in previous books, Dorothy doesn't even care that she's lost. She seems to know what the readers have learned by now: whatever happens, she'll eventually end up in Oz, and be magically returned home. So what the hell! Let's have an adventure! (Or at least a long walk where nothing interesting happens.) The first person they meet is a boy named "Button-Bright" who threatens to turn the novel into "A Child's Book of Irony" by being the stupidest person ever. Then they meet the daughter of the rainbow, Polychrome, who has no reason for being in this novel and doesn't do anything worth mentioning. After the previous Oz book ( Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ) in which the very thin plot is resolved by deus ex machina (or Ozma ex machina) and closes with a reintroduction of every Oz character from all the books thus far, I'd joked that these endless parades of characters with which Baum has been closing his books would soon involve so many characters that he'd have to write an entire book consisting solely of character introductions. My friends, welcome to that book. There is no plot. There is no conflict. (At least, none that aren't quickly resolved within a few paragraphs.) There are only characters. And scenery. And characters wandering over scenery until they finally arrive at the Emerald City. And then come the character cameos, where Baum completely outdoes himself. At the end of the book there's a birthday party for Ozma, and every character L. Frank Baum ever dreamed up makes an appearance. Not just characters from the Oz books, but characters from several of his other books as well. The Road to Oz turns out to be nothing more than brazen cross-promotion. It's as if Baum was sick and tired of writing Oz books, and wanted to point his readers to his lesser-known tales. Ironically, none of these characters compel me to want to read these other books because they're just so freakin' weird. There's Queen Zixi of Ix, and a giant gingerbread man, and some weird "Candyman" dude and a character of indeterminate gender, and somebody named Bill, and some purple bear (I think) and someone made out of bubble gum or soap or maybe not. I don't remember it very well, because it's all very hallucinatory. Even Santa Claus shows up and everyone treats him like God himself just appeared on the scene. And then these characters are paraded before the reader not once, not twice, but three separate times. (Entry to the Emerald City, Banquet at the Palace, Parade outside the Emerald City.) This takes up probably a third of the book and becomes excruciatingly tedious. Ugh. The Road to Oz is the poster child for lazy writing. But I guess if you've established yourself as a writer, you can get away with tripe like this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nostalgia Reader

    I found this installment much more enjoyable than Book 4 ( Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ). While this one also had only vague allusions to a proper plot, and had some annoying characters, the entire thing felt more purposeful and more like the first three stories were. We had some proper adventuring in the beginning (I was excited to finally read about the Scoodlers and was not disappointed with them at all... horrifyingly AWESOME) and in the end we're introduced via multiple parades, to a varie I found this installment much more enjoyable than Book 4 ( Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ). While this one also had only vague allusions to a proper plot, and had some annoying characters, the entire thing felt more purposeful and more like the first three stories were. We had some proper adventuring in the beginning (I was excited to finally read about the Scoodlers and was not disappointed with them at all... horrifyingly AWESOME) and in the end we're introduced via multiple parades, to a variety of characters from the surrounding lands of Oz. It was a bit pointless, simply showing off new characters, but they were all relatively interesting, and it allowed for some world building as well. While the Shaggy Man was a bit disturbing, and while Button-Bright was annoying (I loved the Scarecrow's comments about different kinds of buttons towards the end of the book), they were more tolerable than Dorothy's travelling companions in Book 4, and the Shaggy Man did have a useful purpose on the journey with his Love Magnet. Yes, it's still creepy, but it could have been much worse. Still, I do agree with most other reviewers, that Dorothy seems to have absolutely no concept of "stranger danger" and never seemed even slightly suspicious when she first encountered the Shaggy Man. In all, I quite enjoyed this as a quick read, and liked how it did set up some characters and additional worlds for later books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book starts out giving you the creeps in the first chapter. Dorothy is confronted with a scruffy looking stranger that also happens to be an older male. He asks her for directions, kidnaps her dog and convinces her to show him the correct path rather than just telling him the directions. Dorothy follows the stranger and later on he tells her about his “love magnet” that causes everyone he meets to fall in love with him. By the second chapter they come upon a small boy dressed in…..a sailor This book starts out giving you the creeps in the first chapter. Dorothy is confronted with a scruffy looking stranger that also happens to be an older male. He asks her for directions, kidnaps her dog and convinces her to show him the correct path rather than just telling him the directions. Dorothy follows the stranger and later on he tells her about his “love magnet” that causes everyone he meets to fall in love with him. By the second chapter they come upon a small boy dressed in…..a sailor suit and the “shaggy man” convinces him to come with him and because of the “love magnet” the boy holds his hand and follows him where ever. Can’t help but think if this scenario played out in real life there would be a mob with tar and pitch waiting for the “shaggy man” and his “love magnent”. However the storyline improved and became a very light hearted adventure and a much more upbeat plotline regarding Princess Ozma’s Birthday. I especially liked the ending with the Wizard blowing large bubbles for the birthday party guests to float home in.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    This one is for children only. Once again Dorothy is....traveling. She meets some different and unique people. There really is no adversity. Ugg. If not for the introduction of The Shaggy Man and Button Bright it would have been a complete wash. Unfortunately my son is enjoying Oz too much to get away so on to the next story. Side note: Santa make an appearance. Ho Ho Ho

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Vocat

    The formula is pretty familiar by now. Dorothy ends up in OZ, unintentionally, after overcoming some difficulties in deus-ex-machina style and meeting some very rude local heroes or weirdos. A quirky story, but the charm has worn off.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Dorothy is asked for directions by the Shaggy Man and decides to lead him in the right direction... only to find herself completely lost. Has she again found herself on an adventure? Fun read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Line Bookaholic

    Amazing and hilarious as usual !

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tinka

    #OzAThon, Book 5 Well, someone should educate Dorothy on Stranger Danger, because it’s about damn time. Like, I understand to talk to strangers when you are stranded in a weird magical land and those people are made of straw and tin and you’re trying to get home, but when a weird man shows up and asks you for directions, you tell him, but not freakin' go with him! What the hell, Mr. Baum? What are kids supposed to take from that? In this merry story (feel the sarcasm), Dorothy is too trustworthy a #OzAThon, Book 5 Well, someone should educate Dorothy on Stranger Danger, because it’s about damn time. Like, I understand to talk to strangers when you are stranded in a weird magical land and those people are made of straw and tin and you’re trying to get home, but when a weird man shows up and asks you for directions, you tell him, but not freakin' go with him! What the hell, Mr. Baum? What are kids supposed to take from that? In this merry story (feel the sarcasm), Dorothy is too trustworthy and follows are weird guy, called the Shaggy Man, to show him the way to a very unspecific location and gets lost. On their way they meet a not very bright boy called Button-Bright and the Daughter of the Rainbow, Polychrome. Together they try to find their way to Oz, because obviously the Ozma ex machina can send them all home. Yeah, so I didn’t really enjoy this one. I‘m aware the target audience are children, but give kids some fuckin‘ credit. They are smart, they deserve smart stories. This one was not. It did not feel like a well-rounded, crafted story but instead like a bunch of scenes randomly thrown together that seriously miss some heart. It was so loveless, despite Baum still showing some incredible creativity. It felt like he was on autopilot writing it, just to please his fans. Kind of like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after the forced resurrection of Sherlock Holmes. The new characters are reaching from creepy (Shaggy Man) to annoying (Button-Bright) over To boring and pointless (Polychrome). The Shaggy Man is just a weird character overall and hard to figure out. He carries a magical object, called Love Magnet, around that forces people to immediately "love" him, which is about the creepiest thing to imagine. Button-Bright is supposedly to be cute or something, but he is so stupid, it goes beyond the point of funny. He makes Jack Pumpkinhead look smart in direct comparison. And Polychrome? Interesting idea, but I already forgot what her purpose is. Returning characters are nothing more than glorifying cameos that having nothing to do but celebrate Ozma‘s birthday. Even Dorothy herself seems strangely just there and mostly lowkey annoyed at her companions this time (or this is just my interpretation) and her function is to explain the whole book. Also, is her accent getting thicker by book? I‘m also seeing a trend of Ozma just becoming the deus ex machina to solve every problem easily or a magical traveling agency, you decide. Anyways, I said in my review of The Marvelous Land of Oz that it doesn’t feel very coherent and like a bunch of randomness thrown together (rephrasing here), but really, The Marvelous Land has nothing on this one. Definitely my least favorite of the bunch so far.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine Marie

    What a cute adventure! I really liked the premise of Dorothy once again following a road to a destination that would help her get home: the Emerald City. It had a similar "yellow brick road" feel of the first book, but luckily the plot was different enough that you didn't get bored with the similarity of the books. I find that that's the only way I'm interested in any of these books at all. I mean, in all of them besides the second, Dorothy is bizarrely transported to a fairy land, and she must What a cute adventure! I really liked the premise of Dorothy once again following a road to a destination that would help her get home: the Emerald City. It had a similar "yellow brick road" feel of the first book, but luckily the plot was different enough that you didn't get bored with the similarity of the books. I find that that's the only way I'm interested in any of these books at all. I mean, in all of them besides the second, Dorothy is bizarrely transported to a fairy land, and she must go on some adventure to reach Oz near the end. Then, on the last page she is returned home with a magic belt. While those things stay the same, her adventure that she undertakes to reach Oz and what she does while in Oz and the Emerald City differ greatly from book to book so you don't get that "this series is always the same!" feeling. In this book, I didn't like Dorothy's traveling companions nearly as much. The Shaggy Man just felt like a creepy, homeless person at times, but at others he acted as the parent of the party. Button-Bright was really just a stupid character that never said much and was kind of there for just no reason. Polychrome was okay, but she joined the story too late to really count. The only ones I really liked was sweet little Toto and Dorothy. The plot was enjoyable enough. I didn't feel the danger as much when they were traveling through the different countries on the enchanted road. Not as exciting there, but I greatly enjoyed Ozma's birthday party. I liked the plot twist of the fact that Ozma had purposely mixed up the roads so that Dorothy could come to her birthday party. Ozma's party was really fun to read about because it had all your favorite fictional characters in it: Santa Claus, fairies, candy people, Glinda, the rainbow's daughter, lots of enchanted rulers, the nobiltiy of Ev, and every single person like that you can think of. It was a pleasant part of the book, and unlike the last book, it had some substance to it, a plotline, that made it not completely boring. Interesting lessons that can be learned from Oz: "You could love the Tin Woodman because he had a fine nature, kindly and simple; but the machine man you could only admire without loving, since to love such a thing as he was as impossible as to love a sewing-machine or an automobile." Nowadays, we seem to have lost this belief. We love our machines (e.g. sewing machine, automobile) so much, just like we would love our people. I mean, I know some of you out there would rather lose a friend that you like, but can be annoying sometimes, over your beloved iPhone 4S. But back when machines were just beginning, people still understood that you can't truly love a machine, you only can admire it. I think that our definition of love has changed a lot in the last century, and I think that we've lost the ability to know what true love is. We say we love this, we love that, but we only really admire them as mentioned in the quote. How do we know when we love something because "they have a kind nature, kindly and simple..."? If only we just simplified love to that again, to its purest form of loving somebody, instead of the things we always get caught up in nowadays. We need to simplify love, and we need to set a boundary that we can really only admire machines and things, for that is what we seem to have forgotten. "I suppose," said he, "that there are no cleverer tinsmiths in all the world than the Winkies. It would be hard to match this castle in Kansas; wouldn't it, little Dorothy?" "Very hard," replied the child, gravely. "It must have cost a lot of money," remarked the shaggy man. "Money! Money in Oz!" cried the Tin Woodman. "What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?" "Why not?" asked the shaggy man. "If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world," declared the Tin Woodman. "Fortunately money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use." Isn't that just a brilliant philosophy? If only people in this world were kind enough to have the desire for this to happen, if only people were good and deserved their contentment, then we could live as the Ozians do. Baum was a smart man, and I was very delighted to read this part of the book. “Button-Bright was so excited and interested that he paid little attention to his fine dinner and a great deal of attention to his queer companions; and perhaps he was wise to do this, because he could eat at any other time.” Now, we must admit that we do do this from time to time: we go to big events with our family, see all the grand splendor and whatnot, but only focus on eating the delicious, gourmet food. Button-Bright is truly bright, because he chose to spend time with people he can not normally spend time with over eating. I mean, eating is something we do every day, but seeing family that we love but live far away? Not often. We should really take to this advice more often and focus on relationships instead of food. Just a thought. I also liked how the Shaggy Man was treated while in Oz. He was treated with the finest consideration by noble people, for they respected his character, not his wealth. "When the others left the great hall he eyed the splendidly dressed servants of the Princess Ozma as if he expected to be ordered out; but one of them bowed before him as respectfully as if he had been a prince, and said: "Permit me, sir, to conduct you to your apartments." The shaggy man drew a long breath and took courage. "Very well," he answered. "I'm ready." Through the big hall they went, up the grand staircase carpeted thick with velvet, and so along a wide corridor to a carved doorway. Here the servant paused, and opening the door said with polite deference: "Be good enough to enter, sir, and make yourself at home in the rooms our Royal Ozma has ordered prepared for you. Whatever you see is for you to use and enjoy, as if your own. The Princess dines at seven, and I shall be here in time to lead you to the drawing-room, where you will be privileged to meet the lovely Ruler of Oz. Is there any command, in the meantime, with which you desire to honor me?" "No," said the shaggy man; "but I'm much obliged." The people of Oz are so kind, and the magic makes it so that all people are richly provided for beyond their wildest needs. I just love Oz sometimes. It made me very happy when the Shaggy Man, for once, got to be treated with respect, and how kind and thankful he was about the hospitality made me very happy. It was probably a crowning moment of the book for me, it was like going to a homeless shelter and watching starving people win the lottery and use the money wisely to have a wonderful home and become a millionaire philanthropist and get a great job. it was that wonderful. Overall, I loved this book. It's so sweet and I loved the birthday party main plot. I also really enjoyed that this book had a lot of good lessons and key points to it, unlike many of the previous books. I highly recommend it for those people who think that lessons can be learned from older classics, and people who just love cute, bewitching stories such as these. It's one of the most interesting books. It's not necessarily the best plot, or literature, but it's just dear. Must read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    After rereading The Road to Oz, I was tempted to assume that readers in 1909 were less demanding than readers today. I also assumed that there must have been any number of worthier books to purchase in 1909; but 1909 seems to have been a rather low year in publishing. Young readers looking for a continuing series would have done better to try L.M. Montgomery's sequel Anne of Avonlea, or Harding's Luck by E. Nesbit; otherwise there were only a couple of stories by Beatrix Potter published that ye After rereading The Road to Oz, I was tempted to assume that readers in 1909 were less demanding than readers today. I also assumed that there must have been any number of worthier books to purchase in 1909; but 1909 seems to have been a rather low year in publishing. Young readers looking for a continuing series would have done better to try L.M. Montgomery's sequel Anne of Avonlea, or Harding's Luck by E. Nesbit; otherwise there were only a couple of stories by Beatrix Potter published that year, and no other enduring classics. So maybe people weren't disappointed by Oz.What disappoints me in the fifth volume of L. Frank Baum's Oz series is not so much the lack of conflict or coherent plot (though I am disappointed by those) as the continuing watering down and dumbing down of the Oz mythology in general. The first three books in the series make a fantastic trilogy and set up a compelling world--a uniquely American mythology. Along with the classic fairy elements and the humor and friendship, there is danger, there are lots of things in Oz that aren't as they should be, and there are hints of a disturbing historical backstory. This begins to change in book four, when the Wizard--who up to that point had been a sinister figure (a shameless shyster who arrives in Oz and manipulates the situation to his own benefit; conscripts Oz residents into slave labor to construct the Emerald City, "just to keep them occupied"; abducts the infant heir to the throne of Oz, has her transformed into a boy and hidden away in a remote corner of the north country under the care of a malicious witch; spends decades living in secluded comfort in the palace while continuing to dupe everyone around him; passively allows the outright enslavement of half of the Oz population; and sends a Kansas girl and her friends to what he assumes will be their certain demise)--reappears as a cuddly, friendly old man whom everyone loves. No apologies, no explanations, no reason for the change. Ozma has every reason to abhor this man, but instead he's given a fine apartment in the palace and (along with the nine tiny white piglets--his shtick) becomes a great favorite of all. Book four thus makes it clear that Baum doesn't have the heart to see anything bad happen to anyone (except certain people, for no logical reason; more on that later). The revelation slipped into this book is that there is no natural death in Oz:   "But I thought nobody ever died in Oz," [Dorothy] said.   "Nor do they; although if one is bad, he may be condemned and killed by the good citizens," [the Tin Woodman] answered.What??Even if other dangers could still be imagined by Baum's "little correspondents," they can rest assured that any injustice that goes unnoticed by Glinda in her magic book of records will surely be caught by Ozma in her magic picture, which she can then right by means of her magic belt.Another disappointment in The Road to Oz is the shabby way the main characters treat others. The Tin Woodman has already become a vain, self-centered character, but now all the rest of the characters join him. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the company's treatment of the poor musicker. This man has done nothing wrong, other than annoy some of the characters with his constant music-breathing. And yet for this he is mocked and permanently ostracized, even by the charming girlish ruler, Ozma herself. Other characters, on the other hand, have turned our heroes' heads into fox or donkey heads, yet they are quickly forgiven, invited to Ozma's party, and so take their place in the Emerald City inner circle. I'm also disturbed by the horrible defeat of the Scoodlers, who are never given a chance to explain their underlying motivations before our heroes toss the Scoodlers' heads into a deep chasm. Sorry, Scoodlers.There's never any conflict in this story (and we learn later that even if we'd thought there was confict, no one was ever in any danger whatsoever), but the final chapters are as unconflicted as a book could possibly be. They become a litany of the histories of the characters we've already met before, and the introductions to characters we've never heard of before (and Santa Claus), all of whom are borrowed from Baum's non-Oz "Nonestica" stories. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus gives us Santa, the Knooks, and the Ryls. Queen Zixi of Ix features the Queen herself, along with Bud and Fluff. Dot and Tot in Merryland brings us Queen Dolly and the Candy Man. And John Dough, though a generic nickname for any gingerbread man, is borrowed from Baum's John Dough and the Cherub. None of these borrowed characters is interesting or useful in the present story. But that might imply that any of the original characters introduced first in The Road to Oz are. Unfortunately, none of the new characters has any sort of payoff for his or her distinctive character traits. It doesn't matter at all that Polychrome is the Rainbow's Daughter. Button-Bright's innocence doesn't help or hinder the travelers in any way. The Shaggy Man comes the closest to having some kind of character arc, but even he fails to intrigue, after the initial chapters (which I found quite amusing, actually, featuring some of Baum's classic wordplay and oddities).It's a disappointing book in so many ways, but as I read it aloud to the family for bedtimes, we enjoyed laughing at it; and when I finished, the kids asked me to start the next Oz book right away. Go figure.

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