- Book reviews of books the reviewer really liked

A review of The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of A Puppet

by Carlo Collodi

The Story of A Puppet who wants to be a real boy

Reviewed by: Paul A. Paterson
About Paul A. Paterson

The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of A Puppet If you think you know the story of Pinocchio because you've seen the Disney adaptation, think again. While the cartoon version captures the main theme, many of the book's nuances are lost.

Collodi's novel is a complex, deeply layered social critique. Disney's film is a simplistic, if heart warming, child's fantasy. In the book, Pinocchio is created from enchanted wood by a lonely woodcarver who, when he finds his creation can walk and talk, adopts him as his own son. Geppetto loves his boy unconditionally, even though he's made of wood. Pinocchio, on the other hand, is selfish and ungrateful, even when Geppetto gives up his own supper for him.

Far from the na´ve, innocent character to which fans of the film are accustomed, Pinocchio is irresponsible by choice. He is lazy and doesn't want to go to school, so when he's offered the easy way out, he takes it gladly. The plot carries Pinocchio through one adventure to another as he slowly realizes what it takes to be truly human -- compassion, humility, selflessness and, above all, love. Geppetto, meanwhile, loves Pinocchio in spite of his faults and gives up everything to search for his lost boy.

This is a tremendous read for all ages, but it would be a mistake to consider The Adventures of Pinocchio a children's book. Some of the sequences -- one where assassins try to kill Pinocchio by hanging him from a tree, and another where the puppet kills the cricket with a hammer in a fit of rage -- are too intense for really young children, especially those familiar with the cartoon. However, for older children, the book's strong themes and rich description are unforgettable.

Click here to buy this book, or read more about it at The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of A Puppet

Copyright © by Paul A. Paterson, 2002

Reviewed by Paul A. Paterson:
-- How To Eat Fried Worms - by Thomas Rockwell
-- King Of The Grizzlies - by Ernest Thompson Seton
-- The Chrysalids - by John Wyndham
-- The 16th Round - by Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
-- Mind Power For Children - by John Kehoe & Nancy Fischer
-- All G.O.D.'S Children - by John Craig
-- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - by Ken Kesey
-- The Contender - by Robert Lipsyte
-- The Outsiders - by S. E. Hinton
-- That Was Then, This Is Now - by S. E. Hinton
-- Rumble Fish - by S. E. Hinton
-- The Grapes Of Wrath - by John Steinbeck
-- The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of A Puppet - by Carlo Collodi
-- The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players - by Pat Riley
-- A Shadow Like A Leopard - by Myron Levoy
-- The Happy Prince & Other Stories - by Oscar Wilde
-- Captains Courageous - by Rudyard Kipling
-- Kidnapped - by Robert Louis Stevenson
-- Treasure Island - by Robert Louis Stevenson
-- Lost In The Barrens - by Farley Mowat
-- Animal Farm - by George Orwell
-- The Red Balloon - by Albert Lamorisse
-- Cold Mountain - by Charles Frazier

Home ------- All the Reviews