Susan Wolstenholme is Professor of English at Cayuga Community College, Auburn, NY. She is the author of Gothic (Re)Visions: Writing Women as Readers (SUNY Press, 1993) and essays on American literature.
Gr all levels-Dorothy and her little dog Toto are at home in their farmhouse when a cyclone suddenly lifts the house and deposits it in the fantastic land of the Munchkins. So begins Baum's timeless classic tale of magic and adventure in which Dorothy, along with three traveling companions she meets along the way-the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion-are involved in one adventure after another. Good and bad witches, friendly and unfriendly creatures, deadly poppies, and a dangerous river are just some of the challenges they encounter in their search for The Wizard of Oz, who they believe can grant each one of them their greatest wish: a return home for Dorothy, brains for the Scarecrow, a heart for the Tin Woodman, and courage for the Cowardly Lion. The audio quality of this offering is crisp and clear and Tavia Gilbert's narration is engaging, giving each character a distinct voice. Dorothy's voice is tremulous and has a lilting sing-song quality to it that is at times credulous, bewildered, confident, and consistently believable. The portrayal of the other characters is equally wonderful, with seamless transitions between them. A bonus companion ebook is included on the first CD. An enjoyable listening experience for all ages.-Mary Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Baum's classic comes to life in this winning audio edition. When a cyclone whisks Dorothy Gale to the Land of Oz, her only hope of returning to Kansas is to find the Wizard, who lives in the heart of the Emerald City. Following the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy encounters friends and foes-e.g., the endearing Scarecrow and the malevolent Wicked Witch of the West-that help and hinder her journey. Tavia Gilbert's whimsical narration will appeal to listeners young and old. Additionally, the distinct voices she creates for each character make for a delightful listening experience. Those only familiar with the film adaptation will be pleasantly surprised by the original story and Gilbert's fantastic narration. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Baum's classic is an eye-opener for those who know it only through countless viewings of the 1939 movie. While the basic plots are identical-Dorothy, Kansas, twister, Oz, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, Cowardly Lion, melted witch, clicking heels, return home-the novel is vastly simpler and waaayyy slower. The biggest disappointment is the Wicked Witch of the West. Deliciously evil on screen, the worst thing she does here is swat Dorothy with an umbrella. After receiving their brains, courage, etc., Dorothy and company have more strange adventures here, but they're entirely forgettable. VERDICT Narrator Tara Sands does an accomplished job of channeling each character according to Baum's descriptions, and this production will charm small children, but older kids and curious adults should stick to the film. Buy appropriately.-Mike Rogers, Babylon, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.