Snow White, Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, and other figures pose within pop-up cut-paper stages opposite summary versions of eight familiar tales.
Framed in lacy, cut borders, the raised theatrical tableaux are the stars of the show: Little Red Riding Hood smiles at a shaggy wolf in trousers and waistcoat; Puss in Boots presents his “Marquis of Carabas” to the king and princess; Cinderella admires her flamboyant gown and pumpkin carriage. But aside from depicting Snow White in the act of fainting after biting into the poisoned apple, Pioli generally goes for pretty moments rather than high spots—leaving the witch out of “Hansel and Gretel” entirely, for instance, and depicting Geppetto handing Pinocchio some school books. The fairy tales more or less survive the extreme truncation of texts, but much is left out of Pinocchio’s story, and though the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter appear on stage next to Alice, they’re cut from the accompanying one-page narrative entirely. The artist is arbitrary with details too, as she gives Pinocchio’s fairy orange hair (it’s turquoise in the original, blonde in Disney) and Alice an olive complexion. All the human characters are white.
Suitable for displays but bland next to kinetic 3-D adaptations, such as Robert Sabuda’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2003). (Pop-up folk tales/classics. 7-10)