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Pinocchio
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Gr 2-7-The classic moral tale of the wayward puppet's quest to become a real boy is illustrated with Ingpen's richly textured pencil-and-watercolor artwork. A combination of full-page illustration and spreads, as well as numerous smaller pictures, depicts Pinocchio's adventures. Ingpen's color choices-primarily subdued neutral tones accented with bright hues-underscore the sense of play in a rather grim story. The bright-eyed marionette is portrayed as more mischievous than malicious-more naive than nasty. Even as a puppet, his posture and movements are that of an active, curious child. Likewise, the narration is lively and energetic and seasoned with subtle humor. The dark sides of the tale are not omitted, but the focus is on the adventure and on Pinocchio's redemption. Some of the modernization is unnecessary and awkward; for example, the Cat receives a telegram, rather than message, informing him that his child is ill. Overall, this is a handsome traditional edition of the story that will appeal to children. The Adventures of Pinocchio illustrated by Robert Innocenti (Creative Editions, 2005) is a more literary version with a stronger sense of the European setting, dramatic tension, and moral undertones. Sara Fanelli's version (Candlewick, 2003) offers a more contemporary collage-style interpretation.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Most children today know Pinocchio as a cherub-faced Disney creation brought to life by a wish on a distant star. Adapted from Collodi's 1883 work, this sparkling edition reintroduces a much more intriguing hero--``a piece of wood with a mind of its own.'' Under the ministrations of the long-suffering Geppetto, this troublesome twig is refashioned into ``a grand puppet.'' A brisk tale of adventure ensues, told with sly humor, merriness and a good dose of morality. Dynamic illustrations carry a suggestion of animation, while an unusual dappling technique adds a solid warmth. Pinocchio is depicted as a taper-nosed Pierrot, vacillating between hope and delusion as he rushes headlong from one bad decision to the next. With his unusually long proboscis, he is both a figure of fun and an endearing protagonist. Sometimes captured as a nightmare vision, always fantastical, a dreamy atmosphere suffuses this work, while carnival colors reinforce the sense of madcap adventure and fun. All ages. (Sept.)

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