Best known as the author of the Wizard of Oz series, Lyman Frank Baum was born on May 15, 1856, in New York. When Baum was a young man, his father, who had made a fortune in oil, gave him several theaters in New York and Pennsylvania to manage. Eventually, Baum had his first taste of success as a writer when he staged The Maid of Arran, a melodrama he had written and scored. Married in 1882 to Maud Gage, whose mother was an influential suffragette, the two had four sons. Baum often entertained his children with nursery rhymes and in 1897 published a compilation titled Mother Goose in Prose, which was illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. The project was followed by three other picture books of rhymes, illustrated by William Wallace Denslow. The success of the nursery rhymes persuaded Baum to craft a novel out of one of the stories, which he titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Some critics have suggested that Baum modeled the character of the Wizard on himself. Other books for children followed the original Oz book, and Baum continued to produce the popular Oz books until his death in 1919. The series was so popular that after Baum's death and by special arrangement, Oz books continued to be written for the series by other authors. Glinda of Oz, the last Oz book that Baum wrote, was published in 1920.
John Rea Neill was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1877. He was a magazine and children's book illustrator. His illustrations were published numerous magazines including Collier's, Vanity Fair, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Ladies Home Journal. He was best known for illustrating more than 40 stories set in the Land of Oz. He died on September 13, 1943.
Follow the yellow brick road with Dorothy and her friends as they travel to the Emerald City in search of the great Wizard of Oz in this new, complete and unabridged edition of the classic tale that winds its way from Kansas to faraway places and back. From the land of the Munchkins to the deadly poppy field, from encounters with ferocious Kalidahs, Winged Monkeys, and Fighting Trees to battles with the Wicked Witches of the East and West, the magic of Baum's story is beautifully reimagined through the extraordinary art of Michael Sieben.