Sunday, January 24, 2016

Virtues, and their Lack, in Action: The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray, and illustrated by Roberto Innocenti

I first decided to read The Adventures of Pinocchio to the children after reading Tending the Heart of Virtue. It's hard to believe it took more than two years to get to it.

I found this version at the library after reading through lots of reviews and previewing a few others. We were all fascinated by the illustrations.

The "real" Pinocchio was an unexpected delight, as much for me as for the children. All throughout, Collodi's language resonates with anyone who knows children.
But boys' appetites grow quickly, and after a few minutes, his appetite became a terrible hunger, and in no time his hunger became a ravenous beast.
Pinocchio wants to be good...until faced with temptation. Over and over again, he chooses unwisely and then suffers drastic consequences. My seven-year-old daughter would yell out, "Don't do it, Pinocchio! Don't!" Oh, if only she would listen to her own advice...

The morals of the story are remarkably explicit.
"Remember that children who are determined to do as they please and have their own way regret it sooner or later."
 "Always the same stories. Good night, cricket."
"Good night, Pinocchio, and may Heaven save you from dangers and assassins."
With these words, the talking cricket vanished suddenly, like a light that has been blown out, and the road became darker than ever.
Explicit, and yet, so beautifully stated.

Every one of my children, from five to twelve, loved this book.

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