An old favorite—the adventures of a wooden puppet whose good heart earns him the right to be a real boy—in a newly illustrated edition of a relatively new translation.
First published in Italian in the late 19th century, this childhood classic has had numerous interpretations. Today, however, most American children who know the story at all will know it from the 1939 Disney cartoon, which distorts its plot and mood and makes Pinocchio far more appealing than the original. Translator Brock gives readers Collodi's Pinocchio: a lazy troublemaker, self-centered and distractible, who remains a wooden puppet right up until the end of his adventures. In the first 30 pages, short-tempered Geppetto has had two scratching-and-biting fights, the Talking Cricket has been smashed dead with a hammer, and Pinocchio has burned off his own feet. The violence may well not faze today’s video game–hardened readers, who will appreciate the sprightly translation. Testa’s pen, ink and watercolor illustrations appear opposite the text, filling the oversized pages. More cheerful in palette and tone than that of Roberto Innocenti’s versions (1988; 2005), this cartoonlike art lightens the overall effect. Chapter headings, repurposed as a table of contents for an unillustrated version of this translation published in 2008, have vanished, but the narrative is otherwise complete.
Parents and libraries should welcome this edition, appealing and accessible for 21st-century children. (Fantasy. 8-14)