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L. Frank Baum's Juvenile Speaker

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Written by  L. Frank Baum
Illustrator  John R. Neill
Maginel Wright Enright
Published  1910
Publisher  Reilly & Britton


L. Frank Baum's Juvenile Speaker: Readings and Recitations in Prose and Verse, Humorous and Otherwise is an anthology of literary works by L. Frank Baum. The book was first published in 1910, with illustrations by veteran Baum artists John R. Neill and Maginel Wright Enright; a subsequent 1912 edition was retitled Baum's Own Book For Children.

Baum intended the anthology for classroom use, in instruction in public speaking. The collection includes versions of previously published material from the Oz books, Father Goose, and other works, plus new selections like Prince Marvel, a short play for child actors based on The Enchanted Island of Yew.

One of the selections is "Little Bun Rabbit," the final piece in Baum's Mother Goose in Prose (1897). The heroine in Baum's version of the nursery rhyme is a little girl who can talk to animals; in the 1897 text, her name is Dorothy. When Baum reprinted the story in his Juvenile Speaker, he changed the girl's name to Doris, to avoid confusion with Dorothy Gale.

Baum made other revisions, mostly slight, in his reprinted texts. One example: the 20th chapter of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "The Dainty China Country," was revised into a stand-alone tale, "In Chinaland" — and Baum removed the detail in which the Cowardly Lion accidentally destroys a small china church with his tail.

Reprints

Materials from the Juvenile Speaker were reprinted in different forms in later years. In 1916 and 1917, Reilly & Britton issued stories from the anthology in six smaller 62-page books collectively called The Snuggle Tales, with black-and-white Neill illustrations. They were originally sold for $0.40 per copy. The publisher had used this approach successfully with the Little Wizard Stories of Oz in 1913–14, as a way of reaching beginning readers. The six Snuggle Tales books are:

  • Little Bun Rabbit and Other Stories (1916)
  • Once Upon a Time and Other Stories (1916)
  • The Yellow Hen and Other Stories (1916)
  • The Magic Cloak and Other Stories (1916)
  • The Gingerbread Man (1917)
  • Jack Pumpkinhead (1917)

In turn, The Snuggle Tales were republished in 1920 with added color plates as the Oz-Man Tales. (Each volume in the Snuggle Tales series had only a single color plate, while the Oz-Man volumes had four each — a rare instance in Baum's bibliography in which a later edition improved upon an earlier.)

For an idea of the materials involved, consider the contents of the fourth Snuggle Tales volume, The Magic Cloak and Other Stories:

References

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