The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. Many other Oz books followed, as well as the famous 1939 movie. Not until now, however, does Toto tell the story, as he remembers it. In Toto’s Tale, we read his version of the beloved adventures. Toto tells how he first found Dorothy when she arrived in Kansas on an orphan train and how they were both adopted by Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. In the end, he says, the silver shoes (not ruby slippers as in the movie) weren’t lost in the desert, but put to good use.
I’ve been a fan of The Wizard of Oz since I was a young child. Though I remember checking out the books from the library while in the second grade, I’m not sure I ever actually read the books. So for me, this was a new and interesting twist on an age old tale, one I’m sure mirrors the original story far more than the movie and play I am more familiar with.
However much I enjoyed the prospect of seeing a more thorough and different view of Oz. I felt the use of Toto as the narrator didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. For one, his point of view didn’t really add a lot of interesting know all for the story. This is an age old tale and the only difference between his point of view and everyone else, is the fact he’s peeing on things, constantly smelling things and over all being a dog. This is really sad because I thought it was an adorable idea and I was extremely excited to read it.
Now before you think I found this to be a terrible book, please know this isn’t the case. I feel as an adult, the book didn’t hit the mark for someone like me. However, as a mother, I can completely see my son enjoying this book. In fact, I may even make this our bedtime story and see what he thinks. But he’s nine and I feel a child of that age would not only be able to enjoy the experience of Oz, but they can better appreciate Toto’s point of view. Especially in regards to Toto’s constant frustration at not being heard (because he’s a normal dog and can’t speak). Children can relate to this feeling and I think they would greatly enjoy the idea of him running around marking his territory.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good story to share with their children. Especially if The Wizard of Oz is a family favorite for you, like it is in our household.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.