Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Book Recommendation: Pinocchio

My wife had my son Sam read Pinocchio in home-school last year and I finally got around to reading it myself.
The journalist Carlo Lorenzi, who went by the pen name Carlo Collodi, wrote a fairy tale about a mischievous wooden puppet that was serialized in an Italian newspaper in 1881-1882. The book Pinocchio was published in Italian in 1883, and an English translation appeared in 1892. The Disney movie in 1940 popularized the work but omitted a lot of the compelling moral lessons.

At the end of Lorenzi’s story, the wayward Pinocchio learns to obey his elders, to keep his word, to work hard, and to think of others above himself. As he drifts off to sleep, the Blue Fairy appears to him in a dream and says:

Brave Pinocchio! In return for your good heart I forgive you all your past misdeeds. Children who love their parents, and help them when they are sick and poor, are worthy of praise and love, even if they are not models of obedience and good behavior. Be good in the future, and you will be happy.

When he awakes in the morning, Pinocchio finds he is a real boy and exclaims, "How ridiculous I was when I was a puppet! And how happy I am to have become a real boy!"

What a great book for a child (or adult) to read!


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