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American Fairy Tales

L. Frank Baum

Book Overview: 

This collection of fantasy stories was originally serialized in regional newspapers, prior to being published as a complete volume. The stories, as critics have noted, lack the high-fantasy aspect of the best of Baum's work, in Oz or out. With ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends, their tone is more satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek than is usual in children's stories; the serialization in newspapers for adult readers was appropriate for the materials.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .a big mahogany bedstead that he slept in, a small stool on which he sat to pull off his shoes and the moth-eaten ermine robe.

In this straight he was reduced to the necessity of borrowing an occasional dime from his chief counselor, with which to buy a ham sandwich. And the chief counselor hadn't many dimes. One who counseled his king so foolishly was likely to ruin his own prospects as well.

So the king, having nothing more to live for, died suddenly and left a ten-year-old son to inherit the dismantled kingdom, the moth-eaten robe and the jewel-stripped crown.

No one envied the child, who had scarcely been thought of until he became king himself. Then he was recognized as a personage of some importance, and the politicians and hangers-on, headed by the chief counselor of the kingdom, held a meeting to determine what could be done for him.

These folk had helped the old king to live riotously while his money lasted, an. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Polar bears in drag. Zombie birds. Pink glass dogs. Baum's politically incorrect fairy tales have them all. Stereotypical Italian criminals aside, I enjoyed these stories of bargains gone wrong and villains reaping what they sow, with morals preaching against the seven deadly sins.

I listen...more

I loved this book! It was so funny; very tongue-in-cheek. Baum was an expert storyteller and it really shows in the variety and creativity in these tales--especially the "morals" at the end of each story. This is one that was enjoyable for me and my children.

A pesar de ser una rama de libros de terror, este no lo es, por eso lo han puesto en verde. La edición buena, a falta de perfeccionarla con hojas cosidas. Han corregido el error que creo que tuvieron en las dos anteriores, de poner un precio alto para tan pocas páginas. En este caso viene con las...more

حكايات خرافية من أمريكا

كتاب للاطفال ويصلح للكبار يحتوي على مجموعة من القصص
الجميلة لنخوض في كل قصة مغامرة جديدة وغريبه
وفي نهاية كل قصة ومغامرة نجد عبرة من هذه القصة
عبرة لنستفيد منها في حياتنا لنتعلم من هذه القصص بعض الامور

احببت الكتاب واستمتعت كثيراً بقراءته

Let's face it, the creator of Oz knows how to make magic seem real in early 20th century America. This collection of stories focused on lessons that were sometimes silly (don't open things that don't belong to you. . . there might be pirates inside), but usually based in reality (if you flaunt yo...more

First of all Baum is definitely not one of my favorite authors thus ranking down at the bottom along with Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl, which all I truly really dislike deeply. And seeing that my sister had chosen out this particular book I was more or less worried about the stories that I would fin...more

Quite a different book than I had expected. Each new story had a voice and tempo I had to change and become aquainted with. Fun stories overall. Nice to get in touch with what children and young people thought about during those times.

They were cute, but I was expecting better from the creator of the Wizard of Oz. Overall, the stories were pretty repetitive (similar morals) and rather boring.

The Box of Robbers: This wasn't really a fairy tale. I mean, it was fantasy, but it was also rather boring. It seemed that th...more

Original fairy tales that, from the pen of the writer who created 'The Wizard of Oz', and very amusing all twelve of them are too in an irreverent, genre-jibing way.

'The Box' of Robbers' is about a young girl whose curiosity leads to her having to outwit a trio of (admittedly less tha...more

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