The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Rating 8.5/10
Italy’s most famous fairy tale, first published in 1883.

A magical puppet longs to be human.

In an Italian village, Geppetto, an old woodcarver, receives a piece of wood which looks perfect for his next project, a puppet. But when he sets to work something magical happens – the piece of wood begins to talk. When Geppetto is finished, the puppet turns out to be cheeky, naughty, and can walk, run and eat with as hearty an appetite as any young boy.

Geppetto calls him Pinocchio (which means ‘pine nut’) and brings him up as his son. But Pinocchio is disobedient – he tells lies, and every time he lies, his nose grows longer. Geppetto makes many sacrifices for his adopted son, but Pinocchio finds it hard to be good. He is easily led astray, tumbling from one disastrous adventure to another in which he is robbed, imprisoned, chased by bandits and only narrowly escapes death. His friends, the Cricket and the Blue Fairy, try to make see that his dream – to be a real boy – can never come true until Pinocchio finally changes his ways.

The Adventures of Pinocchio is Italy’s most famous fairy tale, first published in 1883. Its author, Carlo Collodi, wrote a great deal for children but Pinocchio is the only one of Collodi’s tales to be translated into the English language.

Like many children’s novels, its theme is that of a naughty child who must learn to be good, not just for his own sake but for the sake of others around him too. First published in serial form, early versions of Pinocchio were very different from the story we have come to know today – in one draft, the unruly puppet comes to a particularly gruesome end. With alterations suggested by Collodi’s editor, the book finally became a true children’s classic, hugely successful in Italy, but Collodi did not find fame internationally until the first English translation was published in 1892, two years after his death.

Carlo Collodi was born Carlo Lorenzini in Florence, Italy, in 1826. He took the Collodi from his mother’s birthplace. His father was a cook and his mother a domestic servant.

After a spell in the army, he took up journalism as a career and founded a political magazine which was quickly suppressed by the Italian government. He went on to work at other political newspapers as well as working for a censorship organisations operating in theatre.

His first novel, Il Vapore (1856), was a great success, and he wrote numerous satirical  sketches and romantic and political novels at this time, only taking up writing for children after he accumulated large gambling debts.

He first translated a collection of fables by the famous French writer of fairy tales, Charles Perrault, which proved so successful that he began to write his own children’s stories. In 1881, the first magazine for children was founded and Collodi contributed regularly with ever increasing success, including in its founding year, The Adventures of Pinocchio. Of all Collodi’s wide-ranging and prolific output, it is Pinocchio for which he is best remembered.

Collodi never married and lived a solitary life. He died in Florence in 1890.

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The Adventures of Pinocchio reader reviews

from India

9-stars

It was wonderful reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed while reading this.

from America

9-stars

The 'Adventures of Pinocchio' was, overall, a very well written book for young children, with MANY adventures. Carlo Collodi did a very fine job of putting morals in with Pinocchio's naughtiness. (His nose growing when he lies). I recommend this book as a wonderful, adventuress, fast pace, pleasurable book for children(who need discipline).

8.8/10 from 3 reviews

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