There are number of “Wizard of Oz” books out on the market at the moment. To be honest, I haven’t read any of them, apart from this book by Stella Gurney, which is has been brought out to celebrate the release of Oz The Great and the Powerful.
I was intrigued how a picture book would manage this detailed and complex story. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Gurney, manages it just fine. It is quite text heavy – which is good – as you get the whole story, but also means that this is more of a “read to me book” for older kids – kids that are used to “chapter books”. So probably 5 years plus. There is a great pop up at the beginning depicting the big storm and some “interactive” fun throughout the book – a couple of flaps to lift to reveal more background story and things to “turn” (such as the flying monkeys). My children (5yrs and 3yrs) both wanted to look at it straight away.
However, the book IS fragile, if not a little flimsy. My children are VERY good with books and managed to accidently break one of the pages. But I can fix it, so it isn’t a problem. And I still think that they are nice additions.
My 3yrs old definitely is too young for all the text, but we have started it with the 5yrs old. And it is definitely a book that brings the magical story to life.
If The Wizard of Oz is one of your favourite childhood films or stories, you will probably enjoy this book. I would recommend it for reading at bedtime, one “chapter” (i.e. double page) at a time.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a magical retelling by Stella Gurney, is available now from www.carltonbooks.co.uk
Disclosure: I was kindly sent this book by the publisher.
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