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This was the first of Baum's books for children; it is a collection of very short stories, each based upon one of the familiar rhymes of Mother Goose. In the introduction, Baum explains that many of the rhymes "e;are but bare suggestions, leaving the imagination to weave in the details of the story. . .1 have thought the children might like to have the stories told at greater length.. . [and] for that reason I have written this book."e; Although he tells us that he has "e;followed mainly the suggestions of the rhymes"e;, actually the tales are original inventions of the author rather than (as one might suppose from the title) merely expansions of the old nursery rhymes. Dorothy, a little farm girl, appears in the last story, and it is likely that she is the original idea for the Dorothy who later becomes the heroine of Oz.
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