HarperCollins Children’s Books is publishing a retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, with illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark.
Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz tells the story of L Frank Baum’s original tale through the eyes of Toto, Dorothy’s trusted canine companion.
Morpurgo said: “The Wizard of Oz is a truly wonderful and magical tale, but I always felt that there was one character who had little part to play in the story. Dorothy we know and love, but her dog Toto does little more than accompany her on her adventures. We never know what he thinks of all that is going on - he just gets carried around a lot. Why not tell the story again, but through Toto's eyes! Our hope is that through Toto, many thousands of children, and grown-up children too, will come to enjoy L Frank Baum's wonderful Wizard of Oz again.”
He told The Bookseller that writing the book was "a lot of fun".
Morpurgo celebrated the announcement of the book at London Book Fair today, where he is Children's Author of the Day
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said: “It’s a joy to publish Michael and Emma together in this wonderful collaboration, which delivers a highly original and irresistibly funny new take on a much-loved children’s classic.”
Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz will publish on 7th September 2017 in full-colour hardback, with simultaneous publication in the UK and US, as well as in e-book and audiobook formats.
Publication will coincide with the opening of Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories, a free exhibition at the V & A Museum of Childhood which celebrates Morpurgo’s life and writing. The exhibition moves from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, where it is currently on display, and will open on 22nd July 2017 until 25th February 2018.
Read our interview with Michael Morpurgo, where he discusses his writing as well as the importance of libraries and his charity work, here.