Review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) by L. Frank Baum

As whimsical and intriguing as the film. As timeless and humorous and charming. As off-kilter and unique. 

But can it sustain the delicate balance of childish wonder, nostalgia, and creepy subtext, the Alice and Wonderland dreaminess, for a dozen books? This splendid series has spawned a recognizable aesthetic, probably due to the subtly unnerving drawings printed in some additions. While I still enjoy the second film more than the first, will the second book manage to deepen the lore, or challenge the constrains of children’s literature in the same way? The artistic current of rococo sentimentality and memorable creature-design runs through countless films, establishing a gold standard for decades. As far as books go, Peter Pan-ish homages and similar forays into dreamland recur with frequency, contributing to the great, cosmic zeitgeist of anthropomorphic bedtime stories reaching back to the beginning of time.

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