Posted by: Mish | June 26, 2009

the Adventures of Pinocchio

If you were made of wood and wanted to become real, would you behave and go to school every day or would you misbehave and play truant? Carlo Collodi’s the Adventures of Pinocchio is a children’s book about just that. In the episodic fable, the Fairy with Azure Hair tells an animated marionette named Pinocchio that his wish of becoming a real boy will be granted if he’s good. However, he’s more interested in playing and lazing around than learning his letters and figures. Misadventures such as being thrown in jail and becoming a donkey occur because Pinocchio fails to heed the warnings of characters he meets along the way, like the Talking Cricket who cautions:

“Woe to boys who refuse to obey their parents and run away from home! They will never be happy in this world, and when they are older they will be very sorry for it.”

Despite his faults, the compassionate Pinocchio loves the Fairy with Azure Hair as a mother and his father who created him, the woodcarver Geppetto. Pinocchio’s saving graces are that he tries to be good and helps others.

Awhile back there was a discussion on digital books vs paper books. Deciding to finally test out the digital concept with my palm pilot, I figured it couldn’t get much easier than reading Carol Della Chiesa’s translation of the Adventures of Pinocchio. I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise, but liked it well enough. With its simple language and basic plot, the children’s classic can be read in two or three sittings.

The first half of this classic literature was originally printed in a weekly children’s paper in 1881 and ran for two years. The episodes were later compiled and published as Le Avventure di Pinocchio in 1883. Notably, Collodi was one of the first writers of children’s literature, which was a new concept at the time. The book’s translation into English in 1892 made the Florentine author famous, after he passed away.

The book that Disney adapted into an animated film in 1940 was originally intended for adults. Under the pseudonym of Carlo Collodi, Carlo Lorenzini commented on the strict and formal society in which he lived. The noble class were the puppet masters and everyone was expected to perform and behave. Deemed too serious and macabre for young readers, the original ending where Pinocchio is hanged for his misbehavior was changed to a happily ever after.

“Even as children, we must accustom ourselves to eat of everything, for we never know what life may hold in store for us!” ~Geppetto

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Responses

  1. Recently, my husband and 5-year-old son read through this one chapter by chapter, outloud. Laurence loved it because Dad did all the voices and stuff, and made it more childlike for him.

  2. I love Pinocchio. I always wondered if the same would happen to one of my dolls while growing up.

    I was given an award recently, and thought I’d forward it on to you, for making blogging more fun:) Thank you.

    You can pick it up here.

  3. Amanda, it would be a lot of fun to hear it that way. I had the Disney voices going through my head.

    Uncertainprinciples, thank you for my first blogging award. I always pictured my stuffed animals coming alive when I wasn’t around, much like in Toy Story.

  4. Oooh, Toy Story! That was fantastic. To infinity and beyond.

    I love Woody!


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