Barnes & Noble to publish a leatherbound omnibus edition of L Frank Baum's Oz series of novels in their Collectible Classics series
The story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a great piece of early 20th century children's literature. However, very few people are aware that Baum wrote more than just the one novel about Oz, and even less feel inclined to buy, separately, the other stories.
One good solution to this, to encourage more people to buy and read the further stories set in the magical land of Oz, would be to produce an omnibus of all 15 of Baum's publications - the 14 novels, plus the anthology "Little Wizard stories of Oz" also by Baum.
To this day, only one such omnibus edition of the Oz novels has ever been published; called the Treasury of Oz, it indeed contains all 14 novels and the anthology Little Wizard stories. However, it is of poor quality.
Treasury of Oz (See attached picture. Also, Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1604590289)
The book is bound in a cheap hardback stock, and covered in a plasticised shiny paper that does not give the appearance of quality. The cover design is also badly made, with red text on a blue background being difficult/uncomfortable to read, and the cover artwork appears to be a small copy of one of the original illustrations by John R. Neill (illustrator for all but one of Baum's Oz novels, amongst a prolific career), enlarged and digitally coloured in; it is pixelated and the colouring appears rushed and has some digital JPG artifacts.
All the stories are included, but the proof-reading was not carried out very well; typographical errors abound throughout all the books, and in some cases whole paragraphs are inexplicably missing from the narratives. Each book starts afresh at the beginning of a new page, however subsequently eachchapter begins immediately after the end of the previous one, however far down the page that may be. This gives a very cramped feeling to the whole volume. The text could also do with being printed slightly larger, to encourage more children to try to read the books on their ownor with a parent. And lastly, but by no means least, NONE of the original illustrations from the 15 books have been included in the volume at all, save for the one poorly-enlarged and coloured Denslow illustration on the front cover.
Such a poorly-executed omnibus is not going to attract any significant attention from any potential readers of Baum's Oz series, or from collectors of high quality collectible volumes.
This is why we, the undersigned, request Barnes & Noble to produce an alternative and high quality leatherbound omnibus volume of all of L Frank Baum's 14 Oz novels (plus the short story anthology), *with* all original illustrations and well laid-out, with a good quality, well-finished leather book-binding, as part of your Collectible Editions series.
...rather than, for instance, a FOURTH version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the Collectible Editions.
- March 31
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