Review Blog

Sep 01 2014

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

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Ill. by Robert Ingpen. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922244048.
(Ages: 8 to adult) Recommended. Classic. Responsibility, Family. Pinocchio began its life as a serial published weekly in the Giornale per i Bambini in 1881. The episodes were published together as The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883.  This explains the suspenseful ending and episodic nature of the chapters. It is this story that is reprinted using the 1926 translation by Carol Chiesa.
The story is well known but perhaps many will be more familiar with the Disney version, in which the character of Pinocchio is softened and more sympathetic. Collodi's protagonist is far less likable. From the very beginning, even as a lump of wood Pinocchio is selfish, demanding and disobedient.
Collodi takes a moral stance stressing the importance of study, hard work and respect for parents. Many try to give advice to Pinocchio; Geppetto, the cricket and the azure haired fairy but Pinocchio is persuaded to take the easy way with no responsibility and no hard work.
Eventually through many mishaps and life threatening experiences Pinocchio makes decisions that are unselfish and returns the love and loyalty that has been shown him.
This lavishly illustrated hard cover edition will make a valuable addition to any child's library. A school in which classic stories are read and shared will also find it hard to keep this on the library shelves. Robert Ingpen's illustrations are detailed and richly coloured adding to the drama and excitement of this children's classic.
Mark Knight

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