L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was an instant success when it was published in 1900. Baum's quirky and imaginative tale of the girl from Kansas and her friends was complemented by W. W. Denslow's accomplished illustrations to produce the best-selling children's story of the 1900 Christmas season. After years of failed endeavors, the book brought Frank Baum personal prosperity. It also launched a long-lived and highly successful series of children's books based on the Oz theme. There were theatrical and cinematic productions as well, the most famous of which was MGM's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland. Indeed, the film eventually came to displace the original Oz tale as the work to which imitators referred. But the books, and especially the first book, continue to have a popular presence among lovers of Oz.
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