Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations.
Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as "historical" in the children's library; for the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.
Having this thought in mind, the story of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.
L. Frank Baum
Chicago, April, 1900.
Ninth in Ingpen's series of illustrated classics, this atmospheric outing blends elements of American realism with elegant whimsy. With surprising emotion, Ingpen conveys the Tin Woodman's grim transformation, one limb at a time, from a human into a metal automaton; his scrawny Wicked Witch of the West, with her spidery black hair, overcoat, and striped stockings, would be equally at home roaming New York City's West Village as she would the yellow brick road. Readers yet to discover the story of Oz will find a wholly original vision in this edition. Ages 10 up.