Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood
through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and
instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal.
The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to
childish hearts than all other human creations.
Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations,
may now be classed as "historical" in the children's library; for
the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which
the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together
with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by
their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern
education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only
entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all
Having this thought in mind, the story of "The Wonderful
Wizard of Oz" was written solely to please children of today. It
aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment
and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.
L. Frank Baum
Chicago, April, 1900.