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.
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.
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 - Meredith Kiger
Once upon a time, a block of wood became the puppet known as Pinocchio. While one may recognize book's title and its characters, this translation tells a much darker story than what readers may expect. Here, Pinocchio runs away and kills the talking cricket! On his way to school, he meets a dishonorable fox and cat, and they try to murder Pinocchio! Fortunately, the Blue Fairy comes to his aid. She tries to guide him and suggests he be more obedient. In spite of this advice, Pinocchio joins his schoolmate Lampwick in Play Land. There, the puppet turns into a donkey. When he is thrown into the sea, he changes back into a puppet and reunites with his father. Only then does he begin to realize how he can become a real boy by helping his father. Many readers are familiar with the general arc of Pinocchio's story, but this translation bluntly recounts specific, harsh events. Beautiful watercolor and black-and-white illustrations accompanyand perhaps softenthe story. Unfortunately, these illustrations do not follow the story precisely; the discrepancies could be distracting. This fantasy could appeal to middle and high school readers who can tolerate the puppet's obstinacy and not be distracted by the illustrations' placement. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
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.
American Library Association Booklist
In many of the watercolors, versions of familiar Renaissance paintings which echo the action of the story are subtly tucked into the scene. A well designed, brilliantly illustrated, new edition of the classic.
Times Educational Supplement
Simply Read Books’ The Adventures of Pinocchio is one of the most handsome books in recent years. Ghiuselev pictures a wholly convincing world. The Fairy with Blue Hair is in iconic descent from Madonnas by Piero della Francesca, and adds psychological depth to Ghiuselev’s interpretation. The final painting, in which the Blue Fairy gives life to Pinocchio, is surely one of the most original and beautiful transformation scenes in children’s illustrated literature.
New York Times Book Review
Magnificent full-collor paintings and drawings in a jaw-droppingly beautiful oversized edition.
Book Trust Foundation
Ghiuselev has added a tremendous atmospheric effect to the story. The artwork is expressive and poetic. The illustrations break out from their framework to give body and substance to the characters and objects featured on each page and the end papers are reminiscent of those created by famous master printers many centuries ago. It is a pleasure going through the pages and savouring each of the many captivating illustrations. This is the perfect gift book for Christmas and a collector’s item in its own right.
This is a book to treasure, both for its illustrations and sheer, loving book craft. Simply first rate.
The Midwest Book Review
A treasure of a book and a gift to be remembered.
The Vancouver Sun
This book should bring pleasure to readers young and old for years to come. Go out and buy two copies - one for yourself and one for someone you love.
The Georgia Straight
A must buy.