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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Lane Smith -- crackerjack illustrator of The Stinky Cheese Man and creator of The Happy Hocky Family -- tickles us with his retro '50s take on what happened to Pinocchio after he became a real-live boy.
In Collodi City (the name's a nod to the original author), the Blue Fairy has "turned the wooden puppet Pinocchio into a real boy." The trouble is, he's asleep so he doesn't know it. After he sees that Geppetto has taken ill, Pinocchio sets out to find chicken soup and soon realizes he's out of moolah. Looking for quick cash, the boy tries out for a job as a store mannequin (the shopkeeper sees him as a big "smart aleck"), can't hock his ultra-long hankie (sized for a growing nose) to a local pawnbroker, and even gets booed out of "the puppet theater where just last week he was a Big Sensation." Fortunately, though, Pinocchio meets an advice-giving girl along the way, who happens to know the Blue Fairy firsthand, and through a media surprise, they both wind up back at Geppetto's, where everything is set right.
Adding his comical off-the-wall slant, Smith combines cool 1950s-style illustrations with a zippy story line. Vivid, mainly non-primary colors and eye-catching patterns are set magically against the snowy Collodi City backdrop, while dramatic angles and perspectives give us the scope of Pinocchio's feelings. Storytime audiences will sit awestruck over this puppet-turned-boy tale, and Smith fans -- along with lovers of picture books that take artwork to the next level -- will be ga-ga over his new creation. A treasured fairy tale with a wacky new twist! Matt Warner