Two illustrated volumes of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio take the spotlight this fall. Robert Ingpen's edition starts on a note of humor, with inset illustrations showcasing his meticulous ink lines and cross-hatching. He depicts the newly emerging Marionette wearing Geppetto's wig, for instance, or a full-page image of Geppetto fitting the fellow with new feet after the puppet's burn in a fire. A wordless spread of the Assassins making off with Pinocchio, however, exudes an appropriate creepiness. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Innocenti's luminous interpretation of Collodi's tale carves the action out of 19th century Italian landscapes. Clearly shown as a mocking marionette, this Pinocchio races through cobbled city scenes and then throws himself prostrate at the personal fairy whom he has most recently wronged by his hasty, thoughtless behavior. And when he becomes a real boy, the transformation is resounding: left slumped on a chair is the body of a puppet; readers may marvel that what lies so lifeless in that scene was the source of so much trouble earlier on. Enchantment reigns in the pictures, each a perfect elaboration of the text. Innocenti and Collodi are equally at home in a place where puppets have life beyond human hands, and where souls may die and live again, resurrected by the power of love. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
A veteran children's writer retells the story of Pinocchio and presents it as a thirteen scene play. He likens the metamorphosis of Pinocchio as the growth in character of all of us, and HE encourages readers to present it as a play to illustrate this fact. Pinocchio has not lost his timelessness and appeal, and this story is an opportunity for a group of children to explore his complex character in a more extended version.
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
This particular version of the classic tale remains true to Collodi's story with some editing of the both chapters' lengths and some of Pinocchio's adventures. Pinocchio comes to life from a piece of wood and tries to be a good son to Geppetto but he gets led astray by first his own selfish nature and next by a troupe of puppets. After receiving mercy from the puppet master, Pinocchio tries to return to his father only to be distracted by a blind cat and fox. This encounter proves to almost be Pinocchio's undoing. Fortunately he is saved by the blue-haired girl, a fairy. One hopes that Pinocchio is soon reunited with his father; instead the puppet goes to prison. When he is released, he attempts to travel back to Geppetto but gets caught by a farmer. He wins his freedom but learns from a pigeon that Geppetto has gone to sea searching for Pinocchio. Eventually Pinocchio reunites with his father in a shark's belly and manages to learn courage. In this version, a talking cricket does try to guide Pinocchio. One would choose this version of Pinocchio for a faithful and well-illustrated classic story, as the highlight of the book are the finely crafted drawings by Greban. The chapters are a wonderful length for reading aloud but be warned that the story does slow near the end and may confuse younger readers. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
If the only image of the wooden boy that children have is the Disney puppet with his shock of black hair lovingly crafted by the gentle old Geppetto, then perhaps it is time to introduce them to the original. Not sanitized by Disney, this Pinocchio is revealed as sometimes arrogant, often naughty, very disobedient, but with an underlying desire to do what is right. There are plenty of adventures and misadventures for the wooden puppet who longs to be a boy. It is a cautionary tale, unabashed in its messages to children, that probably works best as a read aloud. What sets this edition apart from others is the handsome design. From the rich buff pages to the exquisite paintings of 19th century Italy, this is a work of art. Here is a classic that belongs on every bookshelf. 2005, Creative Editions, Ages 5 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-7-The classic moral tale of the wayward puppet's quest to become a real boy is illustrated with Ingpen's richly textured pencil-and-watercolor artwork. A combination of full-page illustration and spreads, as well as numerous smaller pictures, depicts Pinocchio's adventures. Ingpen's color choices-primarily subdued neutral tones accented with bright hues-underscore the sense of play in a rather grim story. The bright-eyed marionette is portrayed as more mischievous than malicious-more naive than nasty. Even as a puppet, his posture and movements are that of an active, curious child. Likewise, the narration is lively and energetic and seasoned with subtle humor. The dark sides of the tale are not omitted, but the focus is on the adventure and on Pinocchio's redemption. Some of the modernization is unnecessary and awkward; for example, the Cat receives a telegram, rather than message, informing him that his child is ill. Overall, this is a handsome traditional edition of the story that will appeal to children. The Adventures of Pinocchio illustrated by Robert Innocenti (Creative Editions, 2005) is a more literary version with a stronger sense of the European setting, dramatic tension, and moral undertones. Sara Fanelli's version (Candlewick, 2003) offers a more contemporary collage-style interpretation.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
What most readers know of Pinocchio is a wooden puppet whose nose grows from telling lies. This episodelonger than a picture book but shorter than the original taleis one small chapter in the exploits and adventures of Pinocchio, the boy wannabe. An illustrated adaptation, it follows the original M.A. Murray translation closely, yet succeeds without the long-windedness of the 1892 classic, and with all the rich language, spirited characters, and lively escapades intact. Inspired by the commedia dell'arte, the Italian traveling street theater of Collodi's time, Young (Night Visitors, 1995, etc.) has created scenes that authentically capture the playlike quality of the story. Reminiscent of his colorful cut-paper collage in Seven Blind Mice (1993), the array of characters and images cleverly reflect a stage production, complete with double-page spreads that act as scenery backdrops. It's an energetic rendition that invites the audience to meet again the mischievous puppet with all his foibles, setting the stage for an Oz-like ending that reaffirms the power of good.
From the Publisher
"Snow White is not pretty in any conventional sense, but she's certainly young and vulnerable in this pleasing rendition of the Grimms' tale. Gréban's watercolor views on the book cover and endpapers—where the intruding girl lies asleep in one of seven small beds—invite readers into the home of the dwarfs, a much happier place than the lonely forest in which Snow White is quickly abandoned once the story actually begins. Unlike most picture-book versions, Gréban's text is faithful to the old story, omitting just a few details. Here the queen does not eat the heart and liver she believes to be Snow White's, but she does dance to her death in the red-hot iron shoes, bringing Snow White's wedding and the book to their old abrupt close. The pairing of the text and pictures will work especially well for read-aloud sharing. White text pages include smaller views and face full-page scenes. The artist is adroit in his choice of perspective and in creating mood. His clear, nicely articulated characters are most appealing in the varied personalities of the dwarfs and the old women who are the disguised queen. The book is more informal than Nancy Ekholm Burkert's handsome version (Farrar, 1987) with Randall Jarrell's text, and much more fulsome than the old Disney version that has dominated publication of this particular story. Every library should find it a most welcome introduction to Grimms' tales."—School Library Journal
Read an Excerpt
How it came to pass that Master Cherry the carpenter found a piece of wood that laughed and cried like a child
There was once upon a time…
“A king!” my little readers will instantly exclaim.
No, children, you are wrong. There was once upon a time a piece of wood.
This wood was not valuable: it was only a common log like those that are burnt in winter in the stoves and fireplaces to make a cheerful blaze and warm the rooms.
I cannot say how it came about, but the fact is that one fine day this piece of wood was lying in the shop of an old carpenter of the name of Master Antonio. He was, however, called by everybody Master Cherry, on account of the end of his nose, which was always as red and polished as a ripe cherry.
No sooner had Master Cherry set eyes on the piece of wood than his face beamed with delight; and, rubbing his hands together with satisfaction, he said softly to himself:
“This wood has come at the right moment; it will just do to make the leg of a little table.”
Having said this he immediately took a sharp ax with which to remove the bark and the rough surface. Just, however, as he was going to give the first stroke, he remained with his arm suspended in the air, for he heard a very small voice saying imploringly, “Do not strike me so hard!”
Picture to yourselves the astonishment of good old Master Cherry!
He turned his terrified eyes all round the room to try and discover where the little voice could possibly have come from, but he saw nobody! He looked under the bench—nobody; he looked into a cupboardthat was always shut—nobody; he looked into a basket of shavings and sawdust—nobody; he even opened the door of the shop and gave a glance into the street—and still nobody. Who, then, could it be?
“I see how it is,” he said, laughing and scratching his wig. “Evidently that little voice was all my imagination. Let us set to work again.”
And taking up the ax, he struck a tremendous blow on the piece of wood.
“Oh! Oh! You have hurt me!” cried the same little voice dolefully.
This time Master Cherry was petrified. His eyes started out of his head with fright, his mouth remained open, and his tongue hung out almost to the end of his chin, like a mask on a fountain. As soon as he had recovered the use of his speech, he began to say, stuttering and trembling with fear.
“But where on earth can that little voice have come from that said Oh! Oh!? Here there is certainly no living soul. Is it possible that this piece of wood can have learnt to cry and to lament like a child? I cannot believe it. This piece of wood, here it is; a log for fuel like all the others, and thrown on the fire it would about suffice to boil a saucepan of beans…How then? Can anyone be hidden inside it? If anyone is hidden inside, so much, the worse for him. I will settle him at once.”
So saying, he seized the poor piece of wood and commenced beating it without mercy against the walls of the room.
Then he stopped to listen if he could hear any little voice lamenting. He waited two minutes—nothing; five minutes—nothing; ten minutes—still nothing!
“I see how it is,” he then said, forcing himself to laugh and pushing up his wig. “Evidently the little voice that said Oh! Oh! was all my imagination! Let us set to work again.”
Nevertheless, he was very frightened, so he tried to sing to give himself a little courage.
Putting the ax aside, he took his plane, to plane and polish the bit of wood; but while he was running it up and down he heard the same little voice say laughing:
“Have done! You are tickling me all over!”
This time poor Master Cherry fell down as if he had been struck by lightning. When he at last opened his eyes he found himself seated on the floor.
His face was quite changed; even the end of his nose, instead of being crimson, as it was nearly always, had become blue from fright.
Illustrations © 2002 by Gris Grimly