The enchantment of this book begins with the cover; even as a child I was intrigued by this artwork, which seemed to suggest mystery, magic, and mischief. Well, the story behind the cover really delivers; truly, this book demonstrates just how L. Frank Baum was mastering his craft at this stage of his life. Sadly, this was the second-to-last book he was to pen before passing away. In "Magic" Baum falls back on a wide and familiar cast of characters including Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wizard--as well as perennial villain of The Nome King (who, delightfully, just seems impervious to reform). Baum seems to have taken this approach in many of his later books, bringing in as many characters as he could; this approach works with marvelous success. For a kid, it's like getting to go to a birthday party with all of your favorite people; and "Magic" is one heck of a party. In this book, Baum really explores magic and how it is enacted in the Land of Oz; a departure, in a way, because generally the Oz books are about queer creatures and magical objects, and not about the use of magic itself. The parallel adventures of the separate groups of characters in this book help make it one of the most suspenseful in the series and it all ties together quite neatly. John R. Neil's illustrations are wonderful, as is this particular edition of the book. I say "Magic" is a book that all fantasy lovers should read--don't let this tale slip into the oblivion of time. If your children are Harry Potter fans (especially the younger set), then introduce them to the Oz series--and this book in particular.