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Pinocchio Paperback – 3 Oct 1996
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"Fulvio Testa's illustrations capture the jaunty tone of the storytelling." (Julia Eccleshare Guardian, Best Children's Books for Christmas 2012)
"A stunning new edition. The illustrations will have you transfixed . . . It would make a lovely present." (Angels & Urchins)
"Vivid illustrations...a huge cast of colourful characters. They make the Disney images look very wooden." (Books for Keeps)
"Handsomely produced volume." (Irish Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This stunning edition of the classic Pinocchio, illustrated by the internationally revered artist Fulvio Testa, will make a fantastic gift. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Who doesn't know the basic story of Pinocchio? But - have you ever read the original either to yourself, or to your children? Pinocchio gets into lots of high jinks after he is first made, but ultimately his heart is in the right place. But only with putting childish things behind him, accepting duty and getting on in life can he progress. This is a great tale for children, but it is also still as great to read as an adult. Filled with animals that can talk, other puppets like Pinocchio, and a fairy, there is just so much to take in. So why not treat yourself and read a nice little magical fantasy filled with humour and adventure, one that is about growing up.
Collodi's original take on Pinocchio is very different to what I was expecting. It's dark, sometimes menacing and is about one of the most horrible characters in children's literature. Now I'm not saying the book's bad - I actually really enjoyed it - but Pinocchio himself is insufferable. I despised him right from the beginning; he's entitled, spoiled and has no thoughts for anyone but himself. A scene that particularly shocked me is when his father, kind old Geppetto, sells his own coat to buy Pinocchio a spelling book, and Pinocchio goes and sells the book straight away. I couldn't get over how selfish he was, not least because that coat is all Geppetto has, and he gives it up for an ungrateful puppet with no idea of what he has. It made me quite angry, actually, and I don't think I've ever disliked a children's character quite so much!
This book has extremely short chapters that are little tales themselves, though they still make up the one big story. Each chapter has a moral to it, usually the result of Pinocchio learning a very human lesson, and is an interesting way of teaching children to do the right thing. As I mentioned previously, this story is a lot darker than I thought it would be, with violence and other ghastly goings on being the norm. I found Pinocchio being turned into a donkey rather creepy to say the least, and I'm not too fond of marionettes. I'm not sure what modern children think of this book nowadays, but I'm sure one or two of them go to bed with the lights on!
Aside from my intense dislike of Pinocchio, I enjoyed everything else about this book. The imagination is brilliant and it's interesting to see the parallels and differences between this and the Disney version. Collodi's writing has hardly dated at all, and even I, notorious classics avoider, had no problems with the language used. It's an unusual story, highly strange in parts, but it's unlike anything I've ever read. No doubt it was pretty groundbreaking in the late 1800s - I would have loved to see how readers reacted to it then!
I would describe Pinocchio as an accomplished work of children's fiction; it's a cautionary tale of childhood gone wrong, as well as a lesson in how to be human. It's not a book that's easy to forget - mostly thanks to its bizarre protagonist and noteworthy ideas - and it's been roaming around in my mind for a good few days since finishing it. Pinocchio is a loathsome, unlikeable character who I absolutely did not warm to, but even that aspect adds to the enjoyment of this revered classic. I'm glad I gave this horrid little puppet a chance!
However this doesn't have that timeless quality that makes it just as enjoyable for an adult (like "Wind in the Willows" does for example).
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