Review: The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum

Genre: Fantasy Age Level: Junior Source: Library Series: Oz #5 Interest: plot, series
Genre: Fantasy
Age Level: Junior
Source: Library
Series: Oz #5
Interest: plot, series

Dorothy and Toto are off again on an exciting adventure down The Road to Oz!

In order to help the lovable, ever-wandering Shaggy Man, Dorothy and Toto must journey through magical and mysterious lands. Soon the three are joined by a lost lad named Button-Bright and the beautiful young Polychromethe Rainbow’s Daughter. With magic at work and danger about, these new friends must journey through cities of talking beasts, across the Deadly Desert into the Truth Pond, and through many other strange and incredible places before they can reach the Emerald City.

Along the way, Dorothy and her companions encounter a whole new assortment of fantastic and funny characters–the crafty King Dox of Foxville, the magical donkey King Kik-a-bray, the terrible bigheaded Scoodlers, and Johnny Dooit (who can do anything)–along with old friends Jack Pumpkinhead, Tik-tok, Billina, and, of course, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the wonderful Wizard himself.


The Road to Oz was an extremely fun read involving everything dangerous situations to huge birthday parties. It  follows a similar plot the to first Oz book where Dorothy along with Toto meet new friends along the way and must reach the Emerald City to solve their problems and find their way home.

Along the way they meet many creatures, some friendly, some not along with all of Dorothy’s old friends. Baum’s imagination must have been incredible in order to think up so many different types of creatures with their own lifestyles and ideologies.  He also created a multitude of fairy lands surrounding Oz for these creatures to inhabit.

This book discusses the idea of intelligence . The fox’s believe that intelligence is in asking questions and thinking of simple answers to complex problems. They therefore believe that Button-Bright, a young boy, who doesn’t know a thing about the world and has a bad memory is a genius. The donkey’s are too stupid to think there is anything beyond what they know and assume they are smart. As the shaggy man says, “…the more stupid one is the more he thinks he knows.” Since the shaggy man is able to use big words they think he must be smart.

I have begun to notice that the books of Oz have many little snippets of wise words or observations of society such as the quotation  above which make the story as a whole seem less childish. Another example is “It isn’t what we are, but what folks think we are that counts in this world.”

The books ends with Ozma’s birthday party which takes up a surprisingly large portion of the book. There is the arrival in the Emerald city, the arrival of all the guests, the birthday dinner and then the celebration the following day. There was a slight surprise at the end of the story relating to Dorothy’s adventures but it was not that shocking.

The book ends nicely, tying up all the loose ends and returning everyone to their rightful places. Another point worth mentioning is that the pages in the book change colour every so many pages which was really cool. Once again, another great  book in the series!

Other Oz books:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (#1)

The Marvelous Land of Oz (#2)

Ozma of Oz (#3)

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (#4)

Have you read this book? What did you think? 


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