Friday, July 24, 2009


Carlo Collodi was the pen name for Carlo Lorenzini (1826-1890) best known for his children’s book, The Adventures of Pinocchio. Originally released in serial form in a weekly paper for children, the story was published as a book in 1883, just a few years before Collodi’s death.

The Adventures of Pinocchio is a traditional cautionary tale, which presents a warning (for Pinocchio; listen to your parent, don’t talk to strangers, don’t run away from home) and an unpleasant outcome to those who neglect the advice.

The details have been altered over the many years, not just to update the story for contemporary readers, but also to edit the grim tone. For example, the animated version has the invented character Jiminy Cricket as a friend and conscience. In the original tale, Pinocchio throws a hammer at the nameless cricket, killing him instantly. It would be tough explaining that at story time.

(Illustration by Attilio Mussino 1878-1954 from the 1911 book The Adventures of Pinocchio)

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