Frank Baum set out to write 'a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nighmares are left out'. Published in May 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had sold 100,000 copies by the following January, proving that this was exactly what his young readers wanted. The story of Dorothy, carried by a cyclone from a her uncle's Kansas farm to the Land of Oz, and her adventures on the yellow brick road with the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, has been an firm favourite with children ever since. The original illustrations by W. W. Denslow, which are reflected in the film and stage versions, have often been imitated but never surpassed.
A lively and charming adaptation of the quintessential American fairytale. Caballero's black-and-white art uses clean lines, bold blacks and pleasingly variegated panel layouts to breathe fresh vigor into Baum's timeless classic. The storyline moves briskly while staying mostly faithful to the original text, though purists might cavil at the telescoping of Dorothy's admittedly redundant journey to Glinda's castle. The real delight here is the re-imagining of beloved characters for the 21st century, ironically reminiscent of Baum's own prairie populism. These Munchkins are no outre Art Deco midgets, but as friendly and familiar as Wal-Mart shoppers. The Tin Man becomes a genial robot with a buzz-saw appendage, and the Scarecrow a likable homeboy. Generous, openhearted Dorothy herself is clearly on the cusp of adolescence, spunky and self-reliant in her boot-cut jeans and Wonder Girl bracelets; and her magical silver shoes (no glittery ruby pumps here!) look comfortable and sturdy, far more sensible for the long trek down the Yellow Brick Road. By no means a substitute for the original, but certainly a worthy companion, and well able to stand on its own. (Graphic novel. 8+) (Kirkus Reviews)