Trending: Jeff Bezos shows up on stage at Amazon’s epic employee concert, helps introduce Katy Perry

L. Frank Baum, author of the classic children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” probably wouldn’t have guessed that his timeless novel would one day be transformed into an interactive reading application, complete with music, sound effects, and narration.

Furthermore, he wouldn’t have even dreamed that his 1900 novel would be available as an iPad application, and in an eBook edition.

But Smashing Ideas, a Seattle-based digital media company and division of Random House, Inc., made this dream come to life.

The adaptation was created after the company was given full creative direction to recreate the story.

For more than a year, Smashing Ideas Director of ePublishing Ben Roberts and Portland, Ore.-based illustrator Shaun Pendergast worked together to develop their own version of the tale.

“The overarching goal was to make this the most beautiful illustrated book yet made for the iPad,” Roberts said.

The early stages of Pendergast’s illustrations (photo:

Pendergast said he was captivated by the Oz novels as a child, and that working on the project was a “personal dream come true.”

The eBook editions are now available at select retailers in Read & Listen Edition (with narration) for $9.99, and Picture Book Adaptation (without narration) for $6.99.

The app, which is set to release later this week in iTunes for $3.99, gives readers the option to experience the eBook in two different ways: Original Novel mode and Picture Book mode.

Picture Book mode offers readers a brand-new, fully-narrated abridgement of the classic tale that’s designed for younger readers. In this mode, almost every page is illustrated, and many have real-time physics, animation, touch, and swipe interactions and sound effects.

The Original Novel mode offers readers the full original text interspersed with the interactive illustrations from the Picture Book.

Previously on GeekWire: Amazon’s Kindle sponsoring national PTA reading program

Reach Lily Katz at or on Twitter @LilyKatz

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Brand JournalistRad Power Bikes
Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.