by Jeni Wittrock
Timothy Banks, illustrator
Capstone Young Readers
Back Cover: The Land of Oz is full of letters, As and Bs and Cs and Ds. From Auntie Em to farmhand Zeke, some great and powerful letters you’ll see!
Opening: Letter A is for Auntie Em. B is for a balloon ride. A cyclone spins at letter C. D is Dorothy, no surprise!
About the Book & What I Thought
The Wizard of Oz ABCs released in time for the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz—the movie, not the book. The anniversary is actually next August 2014, but Warner Brothers, Disney, and every other company involved in the celebration have begun the party. This ABC book uses the movie/book—or is it book/movie—in reference to every letter of the alphabet.
“W is the Wicked Witch of the West. When she melts, Winkies rejoice!”
The book cleverly uses events, people, and places to bring each letter to the forefront for young children. There are no scares here, not even from the Wicked Witch or Oz when he uses his booming voice (V).
“The Lion (L), roars (R) and everyone runs.”
“Y is yellow bricks because they lead the way to letter Z, in the merry old Land of Oz!”
The illustrations are bright, cheerful renditions of iconic characters and places. Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion show up in several places. Toto, the small little dog that Dorothy loved, shows up only once, under letter . . . I cannot spoil the fun and divulge the letter. I think young kids learning the alphabet will like this ABC book.
The Wizard of Oz ABCs is fun to look at, has great characters, even if you do not know the story. The pages are thick cardboard that will withstand most children’s little hands, smeared peanut butter and jelly, and getting tossed instead of shelved. The cover is inviting and colorful enough that it will catch children’s eyes. There is no darkness in the book, not even when a tornado lifts Dorothy’s house up into the sky in the state of Kansas (K).
Children will be familiar with every character from Oz before they watch the movie for the first time. That is not the goal of The Wizard of Oz ABCs. The goal is to teach young children the English alphabet in a fun and memorable way. I think the book accomplishes this.
The Wizard of Oz ABC is not the only board book for soon-to-be new Oz fans. There is also a book on colors, counting, and shapes.
Released September 1, 2013
Age 1 to 5
also available for Kindle
© 2014 by Capstone Young Readers, used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by Jeni Wittrock
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Timothy Banks
Capstone Young Readers is an imprint of Capstone Young Readers