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Dec
12

Read it, watch it, discuss it! PART TWO: Pinocchio

Disney’s movie version of Pinnochio is so ubiquitous and celebrated, it’s easy to overlook the book’s existence.  I recently stumbled across the book, “Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, and it is an absolute gem.

“Once upon there was …”A king?” did I hear you cry?  But if you did cry “king,”children, you were wrong.  Because once upon a time there was…a piece of wood.” So begins this well-loved children’s tale, peppered with humour.  Unlike the innocent puppet in the Disney version, Collodi’s marionette is often rude and mischievous.  In the movie, Jiminy Cricket is the loveable creature who sings “When you wish upon a Star,” and acts as Pinocchio’s conscience.  In contrast, by chapter two the cricket has been squashed by a blunt object. Don’t expect the sugared version of singing angels and crickets, but do expect devilish language and characters that are the bread and butter of classic fairy tales. I recently came upon a post entitled:  “Looking for Something Demented?  Read Pinocchio!” “Demented”?  No. “Honest” would have been more appropriate.  After all, what is more honest and relatable than a naughty child who must learn to be good, for his sake and for the sake of others?   One could read even deeper into this children’s book. Collodi imbued with the story with sophisticated symbolism and moral messages, which you can read more about in this interesting post.

 

Pinocchio has become my all-time favourite children’s book, and I regret having discovered it late as an adult.  Beautifully written, clever, honest, heartwarming, and sometimes laugh out loud funny, it’s a perfect book for the whole family.

I won’t go into any detail on the Disney movie, since who hasn’t seen it?  It’s a great movie that I enjoy even as an adult.  It would be very interesting to contrast the book with the movie, since both are enjoyable for completely different reasons.  Test it out, as I will.  There is so much to discuss. Which version will your family enjoy more?


My favourite version is the translation by Emma Rose, with funky illustrations by Sara Fanelli.

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p.s. Finally back to blogging after one week of a sick house!

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