January 31, 2007

Review: Pinocchio

by Carlo Collodi

This title was coming up on Goldilocks' reading list for school so I decided to read it aloud to all the kiddos. It was a treat for me since I had never read it myself.

The first thing I noticed was how rough it was. Geppetto has a bad temper. When the cricket appears with good advice for Pinocchio, he throws a hammer at it and kills it. (What a shock that was!) The Fox and the Cat disguise themselves as assassins and hang Pinocchio from a tree until he is almost dead(if a puppet can be almost dead). And Pinocchio is not a lovable character at all. I think it is the first time ever that I prefer the Disney version to the real thing.

The next thing I noticed was that the chapter titles were mini summaries. Sometimes I read them and sometimes I didn't. The kids asked me not to read them near the end because it gave too much away.

While I felt blindsided(how could they kill off Jiminy Cricket like that? How brutal!) and disappointed, two of my three kids loved it. They begged me to read it each night and begged me not to stop when it was bedtime. They thought it was great fun and enjoyed making up jokes and play acting the scenes when they could.

I don't know if I would recommend it for a family read aloud. It is always interesting to read the originals of the stories we grew up loving but this story was very different. It would have been a difficult read for Goldilocks on her own. The vocabulary was extremely challenging. And the moral lessons are unforgiving and unrelenting. As I stated before, I was very disappointed in it myself but I don't regret having read it. But stick with the movie.

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