Review Blog

Nov 01 2014

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

cover image

Ill. by Robert Ingpen. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781922244048
Highly recommended for ages 8 and above. Having never previously read Collodi's Pinocchio but relied only on the Disney version; this book came as something of a surprise. Pinocchio, from his beginnings as a lump of wood, was a totally unlikeable character, selfish, rude and demanding who did little to improve his lot throughout the tale, until the very end.
Written by Collodi as a serialisation, beginning in 1881, and only later published as a book in 1883, the author intended it 'to be read by both adults and children, and through Pinocchio's adventures he seemed to be suggesting a method of educating young boys, particularly those who might not have seemed deserving of an education.' Apparently, the author had planned to conclude the story at the end of the fifteenth chapter and only public feedback prompted him to provide a more positive ending. As stated in the notes about the author, 'The enduring popularity of Pinocchio may be due to the fact that the story presents a symbolic narrative of boyhood that speaks to both young and old across the world about how even a mischievous rogue has the potential to be a good, intelligent and useful member of society.'
This edition is an elegantly produced book which would make a perfect gift. The paper is of a heavy nature and feels expensive, perfectly supporting Ingpen's delightfully detailed illustrations, with even the pages of text having a slightly speckled finish reminiscent of high quality writing paper. The endpapers contain many images of the marionette on a sepia background which looks old fashioned and in keeping with the age of the story.
I believe this will be a popular book for teachers to read aloud to students and for grandparents to purchase and leave as a treasure for their grandchildren.
Jo Schenkel

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