Review Blog

Sep 12 2017

Toto: the dog-gone amazing story of the Wizard of Oz by Michael Morpurgo

cover image

Ill. by Emma Chichester Clark. Harper Collins, 2017. ISBN 9780008134594
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. When I had my sixth birthday my older sister gave me an illustrated copy of The Wizard of Oz and I immediately fell in love with the story. This poor book (which I still have) was re-read many times and is now looking a little shabby but is still treasured deeply.
How absolutely marvellous to have one of our greatest modern storytellers bring a fresh new take on this now 'antique' tale - first published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. Michael Morpgurgo has conceived a wondrous version which re-tells the story from the point of view of Toto, Dorothy's courageous little dog.
Now an old Papa dog, Toto delights in telling the young pups stories and of course the favourite is the story of his and Dorothy's adventures in the Land of Oz. Most of the pups get bored with the endless reminiscences but not the youngest who laps them up especially the Oz story no matter how many times he hears them.
Toto's voice is completely as one might imagine from a little Kansas country dog and this re-tell keeps closely to the original story which is especially satisfying. Morpgurgo also keeps closely to the language style of the original while still making it accessible to modern readers.
Colourful and contemporary styled illustrations give this book a really attractive and vibrant look which will thoroughly engage young readers for what might be their first introduction to the Oz stories. They will definitely love the 'emerald' foiled highlights on the cover!
Much as I love my original even after so many years this was simply a joy to read - as indeed are all Morpurgo books!
Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards!
Sue Warren

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