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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
 disagreeable incident.
 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.