Reviews for Wonderful Wizard of Oz


AudioFile Reviews 2013 May
This isn't the best production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Tara Sands's narration has an interesting texture, a mixture of stressed consonants and clipped pacing, but the emotional register is off. The Tin Woodman, for example, sounds so dispassionate that it's hard to believe he wants a heart. The performance flattens the irony that is important in the underlying text. Instead Sands focuses on the surface of the story, pushing emotion into the words, making happy sound overly happy and funny sound like it's inflated with a laugh. It's an antiquated style that might serve the retelling of a classic tale, but in this case doesn't. A.M.P. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

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Library Journal Reviews 2013 April #2

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

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #5

In the first sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a boy named Tip builds a pumpkin-headed stickman that he animates with magic and calls Jack Pumpkinhead. Their adventure begins when the two run away from Tip's evil-sorceress guardian, eventually finding themselves in the company of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and Glinda the Good Witch, along with several other unusual folk, on a quest to determine the legitimate ruler of the Emerald City now that the Wizard has departed. Narrator Tara Sands lends the many characters distinct and appropriate voices. However, at times, her delivery is somewhat stiff and affected, almost like a teacher reading a picture book to small children, rather than an actress embodying a role. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June

Gr 3 Up--The second book in Baum's Oz series and the sequel to The Wizard of Oz features many of the elements of the original story and introduces several new characters, including Tip, a young rascal, his guardian Mombi, a witch, and several sidekicks, including Jack Pumpkinhead, They journey to the Emerald City to escape Mombi's wrath and learn that the Scarecrow, the city ruler, has been displaced by General JinJin and her all-girl army, armed with knitting needles. In an effort to restore the Scarecrow to his throne, they travel to the Winkie kingdom ruled by the Tin Woodmen and search out the good witch Glinda. Other helpers include a flying beast named Gump, a highly educated Wogglebug, and some field mice. Narrator Tara Sands deftly moves from one quirky character to another, creating a unique accent and vocal range for each one and giving them emotional depth. For example, Tip's mischievous nature is apparent as he plots to scare Mombie and General JinJin has an authoritative voice as she leads her troops forward. A successful continuation of a much loved story with spot-on narration that will attract new fans.--Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park

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