In order for an author to create a successful piece of children's literature they must first understand the important aspects of literature that is targeted specifically for children and why those aspects are key. The hero of the story is usually a child (or sometimes an animal) who is on a journey in search of something and the parents are not in the picture for various reasons. These aspects, along with many others, are included so that the piece of literature will appeal to the child and they will be able to connect with the characters. The significance of the journey varies depending on the author's intentions for the novel and rather they want to add a didactic element to the story or not. Although L. Frank Baum stated in his introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that the story was "written solely to pleasure children of the time, he uses the journey to the city of emeralds as a way to show the growth of each of the four traveling characters (p xix). The heroin, Dorothy, begins her journey and picks up each of the other three characters at certain times during her journey while she learns the importance of home and family.
The beginning of the novel has Dorothy in the very gray and laugh-less prairie of Kansas where she is an orphan living on a farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, as well as her pet dog Toto. One day her house is swept away in a tornado while Dorothy and Toto were trapped inside due to a failed attempt to reach the cellar in time. The house finally comes to land among the very colorful and lively land of the Munchkins within the Land of Oz where Dorothy soon realizes she is far away from home and doesn't now how to get back. The rest of her journey is spent trying to get back to Kansas, back to her family.
Although the Land of Oz is so great in comparison to the bleakness of Kansas, Dorothy does not wish to remain in Oz. In response to a questions as to why she did not want to stay in Oz, Dorot