The Wizard of Oz

Graham Rawle, L. Frank Baum

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authoredpeer-review


In my books I’d never illustrated anyone else’s text, but I was particularly drawn to The Wizard of Oz. It’s a wonderful story – a deceptively simple tale that has incredible psychological depth so it works on a number of levels. Dorothy’s journey is really about a personality that’s trying to become complete. At its core it holds an important life lesson: that the things we yearn for or the qualities we think we lack are already a part of us, but we invariably need to go on the journey to make this discovery. L. Frank Baum’s original text, is richly populated with strange and wonderful characters not featured in the classic 1939 film: the Dainty China people, ornament-size folk made from porcelain who are prone to breakages, and the Hammer Heads, armless fighters with extendable necks and hard, flat heads. These have rarely, if ever, been depicted before so it was a great opportunity to bring them to life, as well as reinterpreting the more familiar characters.There are extra scenes, as well as back story that reveals the origin of the Winged Monkeys, how the Tin Woodman came to be made of tin, and how the Emerald City only appears green because its inhabitants are made to wear green tinted spectacles. I’ve been faithful to the original text, but my own way of thinking inevitably comes through. In my version, Dorothy’s dog Toto is a push-along toy on wheels. It may seem like a glib decision, but it tells us something about Dorothy’s view of reality. And it’s funny, because in the book, he doesn’t really do anything. When Toto is ready to go to sleep, they just tip him over on his side.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages296
ISBN (Print)9781843546597
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2008


  • Collage
  • 3-D
  • Fairy Tale
  • Classic
  • Children's Literature
  • American
  • Baum


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