(888) 949-6369

The Wizard of Oz books: Everything about this series

Do you remember the Wizard of Oz Book?

Guess what? Not only can you enjoy the Wizard of Oz books, but in addition to that, you can consider them an investment just like you can with other collectibles. Many people are only aware of the original Wizard of Oz story written by L. Frank Baum in 1900; but in reality, Baum wrote 14 Oz stories, as well as stories either directly or indirectly related to the Oz series. Even after his death, his publishers kept the series going and 26 more official books by Ruth Thompson and others completed the series!

Did you know that the original story was written at the tail end of the 19th century? (1). The Wizard of Oz books were a phenomenon and unrivaled in fame. The popularity of television shows and book series like Harry Potter have only a portion of the popularity the Oz books enjoyed, specifically because they were the main form of entertainment for children and adults alike. The original story was made famous a second time by the MGM movie in 1939, whose fame overshadowed that of the books, and which stays in the minds and hearts of America. (2). The Wizard of Oz books are so popular around the world that there is even an organization devoted to all things Oz. The International Wizard of Oz Club has been in existence for over 60 years, and holds annual conventions and publications. What do these people all have in common? A passion for the Wizard of Oz books. My passion for the Wizard of Oz books series turned into the opening of the new Oz museum in 2022 in Florida. If you are looking for things to do, you might consider visiting a museum in the Orlando area.


In November 2018 the researchers at the University of Turin, Italy, calculated an influence score for 47,000 films listed in IMDb (the internet movie database). Based on their research, The Wizard of Oz is most ‘influential’ film of all time according to network science.


In the USA, The Library of Congress posted article “Books That Shape America from 1900 to 1950” and name The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as #1 book out of 35 various titles. In an article they describe this book as so powerful was its effect on the American imagination, so evocative its use of the forces of nature in its plots, so charming its invitation to children of all ages to look for the element of wonder in the world around them.


The story has become a classic because it blends elements of traditional magic, such as witches, with ones from early twentieth-century American reality, such as a Kansas cyclone, a scarecrow, and a man made of tin. And, despite its many particularly American attributes, including a wizard from Omaha, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has universal appeal, demonstrated by numerous non-American translations and dramatizations.

“To a child who reads this book soon after she or he learns to read, this book represents magic – wonderful, pure, magnificent fairytale. However, when this book is being read or re-read by someone in his 30s the reader might in fact draw parallels between the US history and the political movements that might have been depicted in the book. Finally, when one re-reads the book at a mature age, with not only the benefit of life experience but also with the benefit of financial knowledge, one may begin to wonder whether there are parallels between the book and the national debt, need for reform, and the economy in general.”


Since its publication The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale. The first totally American fantasy for children, it is one of the most-read children’s books. It has also engendered a long series of sequels, stage plays and musicals, movies and television shows, biographies of Baum, scholarly studies of the significance of the book and film, advertisements, and toys, games, and other Oz-related products.

There is a huge Oz community with some of them being collectors. For example there is over five millions Wizard of Oz fans on Facebook group that quadruple in size within past 10 years and of course their some serious movie memorabilia collectors who are willing to pay millions of dollars for an original movie props.

For example, do you know that an original ruby slippers sold for $2 million, Cowardly Lion Costume for $3.1 million, Dorothy dress for $1.56 million, Original Wizard of Oz script sells for $1.28 million, Glinda’s wand for $400,000,Wicked Witch hat for $208,000 and rare copies of Wonderful Wizard of Oz for over $100,000 just to name a few.

For me, Oz book series is what I decided to place my effort.

When I started my quest for other Oz related books, I realized that later editions never had color illustrations, because those were eliminated to reduce cost of printing. Then, I remembered reading an article pointing out that early edition books appreciate in value, while later editions usually depreciate. Therefore, if I wanted books with color illustrations, I had to find copies that were printed before 1935 since that was the year color plates were discontinued in the Oz books.


Through my research, I realized that Wizard of Oz books, in general, are the most valuable children’s book series. Thus, I decided to get involved with them both as a collector and as a hobby.

Identification of the Oz series books is so complicated that the International Wizard of Oz Club even issued a special reference book to help collectors and dealers figure out what editions they have. In general, I am detail-oriented and have a lot of fun with Oz series books. Almost every Oz title has around ten different points which determine edition and printing. An example might be misspelling of certain words on specific pages, different illustrations, captions, plates, page signatures, and more factors too numerous to mention here.


Here is why Wizard of Oz books are valuable


After 1956 when the copyright for The Wizard of Oz expired, the story translated and published almost in every language. Many countries created many Oz cartoons and movies in their own language. Even recently there were multiple announcements about New Wizard of Oz movies and shows. Check for yourself a growing list of Wizard of oz movie announcements. In December 2007, the SciFi channel created a 6- hour Oz mini-series. According to SciFi news, it was the most watched show out of all the series ever shown on that channel.

Hard to believe that a children’s book written more than a century ago would continue to have the kind of pull and sway that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz continues to exert on kids and adults today. Parents introduce Oz books to children to explore imagination and sometimes Oz books or related memorabilia become a new passion for them.

I remember an article about Mr. Manney, a New York business person who was a voracious reader since childhood. He began to collect rare books and manuscripts in 1980s. His library of 600 first editions and autograph copies — children’s classics, American and English novels, religious and political works, and plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen and O’Casey — represents a highly personal assemblage of volumes. “Baum’s Oz books were one of the greatest influences of my childhood,” he said. “I got a copy of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ on my eighth birthday. That catapulted me into reading all the Oz books and many other books of adventure.”

Gretchen Rubin in her article “Can money buy some happiness?” provides another example of Oz books collectors. By just looking at them it provides a boost for her. And like for Gretchen, many other Oz collectors will never part with their Oz books because it triggers their childhood and remembering reading these books with parents and grandparents.

Many Oz collectors are fascinated not only with stories in Oz books but also with artwork by John R. Neill in books from their childhood. By examining vintage Oz books, someone frequently notices hand painting done by a child to black and white illustrations to enhance books. My five years old enjoys coloring illustrations in Oz books in the copies that are no longer collectible. In one instance a collector Brady Schwind decides to find all John Neill’s artwork and share his finding in “The Lost Art of Oz” project.

While some Oz collectors have a deep passion for children’s literature, others got influence by Oz movies (The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz, The Oz Great and Powerful) or musicals (The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, Wicked). Few might even be part of the performance at their schools during a childhood.

Some additional avenues bring indirectly collectors to Oz. Some of them love Judy Garland, some collect antique and notice some Oz pieces at auction, some watched Oz documentary or seen first edition copy signed by Frank Baum to be air at “Pawn Star” show. Others visited the American History Museum and noticed original ruby slippers on display. Some got intrigued by political symbolism in the books and found enough parallels between Dorothy’s yellow-brick odyssey and the politics of 1890s Populism. Collectors of comic books, toys, dolls, figurines, maps, dog lovers, historians, and women right activists are finding enough parallel between their passion and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz book to contribute to Oz collectability.

It is also interesting to note how public schools continue to emphasize the Wizard of Oz to children. and would like to provide two recent examples. In 2018, Indiana West Lafayette Community School, build a new middle school for children that included a new state of the art library. Around the library, the school decides to display many Wizard of Oz memorabilia to be absorbed and enjoyed by the children.

I assume that the main intention of the school is for parents to read out loud to a special kid in their life. Reading the Oz books out loud to a child is one of life’s very greatest pleasures. Many people read them as a pre-teen, as a teenager, as an adult and as an adult to their kids. In my opinion, books are better than the movie, better than Wicked the book or musical, or any of the other movies or t.v. series people have set in the Oz “universe.”

Why do you think people like Oz books series? Here are a few reasons:

-Fun. These books are silly. There are hundreds of crazy characters in them ( a girl made out of patchwork quilts, a princess who keeps a wardrobe full of other people’s live heads , a city of people who grow their babies on trees,a city of people who have wheels instead of feet,flying couch with the head of a trophy animal,Polychrome, youngest daughter of the Rainbow,The Hungry Lion, who couldn’t bear to eat any living thing,etc)

– A Spirit of love and cooperation. All these crazy characters LOVE EACH OTHER.They are kind. They are thoughtful. They remember each other from book to book. Isn’t that what kids want, to be seen for who they are and loved for it?

-Cool illustrations.They have an art-nouveau feel, and are a good reason to find well-printed physical copies of the books

-Vocabulary. Tangible benefit for kids to learn words in context, because they are so wrapped up in the story, they don’t even realized they are learning words as they go.

-Strong female characters. These books were feminist before women even had the right to vote , and great for little developing feminists.


Another recent example is from Idaho in December 2019. Idaho elementary, middle and high school students collaborated with 24 schools in 10 U.S. states to create “The WonderGrove Wizard of Oz,” the first feature-length animated movie produced by students. The movie was produced with the Story Maker technology that is used by 17,500 students in 172 school districts nationwide. The making of the “Wizard of OZ” with Story Maker was a project shared by students from California, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

As someone can imagine with advances in technology it is a matter of time until one of these young kids takes an adventure into making other Oz movies for other 39 Oz books that are currently in public domains.

That information is a reaffirmation of my observations that the Oz trend is still alive and growing. Since I am working mostly with Oz books and film memorabilia, I know there is a huge demand for collectible Oz books. I recently found an article that lists the 100 most valuable children books from 1863 to 1963 and guess which books photo was at the head of the article? Wonderful wizard of oz book

Many people shy away from book collecting because they don’t quite understand how to determine a books value. On this website, I’m going to give you all the information and tools you will need to successfully collect, sell, and buy.

Below is the image of the complete set of my fourteen Wizard of Oz books in order. Most of them are in rare Reilly & Brittons dust jackets. To indicate a rarity of locating books in the original dust jacket, I performed an online search of 15,000 antique book dealers that handles over 125 million books. I was unable to locate even one single copy available for sale in an original dust jacket. To me this signifies a rarity.






Interesting fact related to rare Oz dust jacket from “Appraising Rare and Collectible Children’s book”. A fragmented dust jacket for a first edition of Wonderful Wizard of OZ (1900) by L. Frank Baum was purchased in 1972 at Sotheby Parke Bernet on behalf of a private collector. The book was in the earliest binding state, but the presence of its partial dust jacket was not even detailed by American Book Prices Current. It fetched $800. When is sold at auction twenty years later (Swann Galleries, Epstein sale), the partial dust jacket was a featured element of the description. Of course interest in collecting this important title had magnified significantly during the interim, so it fetched $20,900.

If you would like to start reading the Wizard of Oz series but not sure where to start, then Wizard of Oz books Ranked – 2018 poll list might help.



Things to do in Port Canaveral -Visit the Wizard of Oz Museum.

“The museum displays over 2000 Wizard of Oz Memorabilia pieces with original props from the famous 1939 movie. Through the self-guided tour, visitors learn about the universe of Oz, which consists of 40 official Oz books, and the movie that we all love, partially based on the first book written 40 years before the movie production.”
The Wizard of Oz museum Space Coast
Fred Trust
Museum Founder