Sunday, 16 September 2012

iBooks of Oz: Illustrated

In the first iBooks of Oz post I wrote about how you can get your hands on all the Baum Oz book for free. This time let's look at Baum's Oz illustrated.

So free will get you text only book from the iBooks store, but for .49p you can get the 14 Baum Oz books illustrated by Neill and Denslow! I would always recommend reading Oz with the original illustration's the two go so well together, especially J. R. Neill's illustration's I find it very difficult to read an Oz book without Neill's drawing.

I'm using a purchased Tin Woodman of Oz illustrated by J. R. Neill for this blog post, a snip at only .49p, this also happens to be the first book where I was first introduced to the Neil's Oz drawings and I was instantly enthralled by them, I love this story it is just pure Baum!

Ok .49p isn't going to give you an exact facsimile of the original, you get many of the illustrations.....but not all.

The original cover is included and all 12 cover plates are present, many of the lines drawings are here, there are a number also missing which is a shame!
The major change is the book is not formatted with same font and layouts as the original Oz books, although you can change to font that suits you. This may explain why the book is missing every chapter title illustration from the original,   Each chapter in this version is only presented in plain text, no illustration's.
It appears that the text was as with the free Oz books I wrote about previously from project Gutenberg, the illustration's  appear to have been placed in with the Gutenberg text.

Now there are several benefits an iBook has that a real paper book does not, with the illustrations, if you want to get at an illustration simply double tap any image and it will display the image on it's own for you to pinch and zoom so that you can scrutinise the image in detail.
I have posted you a picture of Ku-Klip constructing the Tin Woodman, you can see the text version and the image after I have double tapped and expanded it you can actually Zoom into the tiniest detail. The only problem with this feature which require the source image to be very high resolution. Sadly the images provided in this book is of low resolution and there is already notable pixelation when an image is fully displayed on the iPad. 
I have compared the image to the one in my Book of Wonder edition and the detail is greater in the printed book.  Again the iBook is only .49p so you cannot really expect that level of detail.

Now another great feature that isn't just for Oz books, you can highlight text, so if I wanted to copy some text in to my blog like so....

"I must admit that I wasn't at all bad looking before I became tin. You're almost handsome—for meat. If your hair was combed, you'd be quite attractive."

"How do you expect me to comb my hair without help?" demanded the Head, indignantly. "I used to keep it smooth and neat, when I had arms, but after I was removed from the rest of me, my hair got mussed, and old Ku-Klip never has combed it for me."

It is easy peasy just simple tap and scroll with your fingers, copying with a minimum of fuss. You can highlight pages as if you have used a pen highlighter for reference or search the web for any definitions within the text. Again a neat little feature is you can leave yourself sticky notes, great for referencing! This feature is available on any iBook not just this one.

I still prefer to have a physical illustrated books for my collection, but how many kids will later be so bothered with  physical book remains to be seen. I can however see the many advantage of having it electronically. You can carry your Oz collection in one device which is around the weight of Hardback or less than a paper back if you have a kindle. You can mark the pages, without ruining your book.  You can get actually at .99p version of the Tin Woodman of Oz and get audio recording of the book as well. These are referred to as enhanced editions, available for all 14 of Baum's Oz books, great if you are visually impaired to as you can expand the text size.

I will definitely be using my iPad to carry around Oz books for referencing. I do feel there is a potential market out the to charge a little more and have facsimiles of the original books, here is hoping someone gets onto this!

On the next iBook post i’ll be looking at interactive Oz books, something physical books  just cannot replicate!


  1. Thanks for doing all the research for the rest of us. I'm moving bravely forward into my electronic future, but I'll never give up my "real" books.
    Have you seen the popout book of Denslow's Night Before Christmas from Loud Crow on Amazon? It's not compatible with my android unfortunately, or I'd already have it. I keep checking back because I'd love to have an interactive Denslow book to play with while I'm at the dentist's office. Alas.

  2. Sadly I have just checked it sadly it is only for Android devices and there is not a version in iBooks store. There are currently though lots of Wizard of Oz interactive Apps are quite unique.

  3. So what and where are the Oz books that ARE complete then, are they available at all on a Kindle? or are all of the ebooks missing something?

  4. I particularly wanted the illustrations you see.