Carlo Collodi (1826-1890) was a journalist and civil servant during Italy's period of struggle to become an independent and unified state. After the creation of the modern Italian state he was a major figure in educational reform. Pinocchio remains his best-loved and most famous creation. Iassen Ghiuselev's works have been published internationally and have won several awards including the Illustrator of the Year Award at the 1994 Bologna Book Fair. He lives with his wife and daughter in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Innocenti's luminous interpretation of Collodi's tale carves the action out of 19th century Italian landscapes. Clearly shown as a mocking marionette, this Pinocchio races through cobbled city scenes and then throws himself prostrate at the personor fairywhom he has most recently wronged by his hasty, thoughtless behavior. And when he becomes a real boy, the transformation is resounding: left slumped on a chair is the body of a puppet; readers may marvel that what lies so lifeless in that scene was the source of so much trouble earlier on. Enchantment reigns in the pictures, each a perfect elaboration of the text. Innocenti and Collodi are equally at home in a place where puppets have life beyond human hands, and where souls may die and live again, resurrected by the power of love. All ages. (Oct.)
Gr 1-4-There is an audience for picture-book adaptations of Pinocchio-those looking for something between Carlo Collodi's bitter and darkly violent original tale and Disney's frothy and sugarcoated story. Unfortunately, this version won't satisfy any taste. The retellers have shortened the text to make it more accessible to young children, and much of the sense of drama and adventure has been lost, as has Pinocchio's gradual moral transformation. The streamlined story's abrupt transitions from scene to scene are jarring and may confuse readers, as when Pinocchio wakes to find his feet burned off. Key scenes are completely omitted. Children are shown neither his bouts of remorse nor his appreciation for those who have been kind to him, leaving only the image of a selfish, lazy, and superficial boy/puppet. Collodi's obvious moral lessons are nowhere to be found here. Philpot's cartoon-style watercolors have a competent, but commercial, feeling-as uninspired and bland as the text. Those looking for an adaptation that honors the spirit of the original tale should consider Ed Young's Pinocchio (Philomel, 1996).-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
American Library Association Booklist In many of the watercolors, versions of familiar Renaissance paintings which echo the action of the story are subtly tucked into the scene. A well designed, brilliantly illustrated, new edition of the classic. Times Educational Supplement Simply Read Books' The Adventures of Pinocchio is one of the most handsome books in recent years. Ghiuselev pictures a wholly convincing world. The Fairy with Blue Hair is in iconic descent from Madonnas by Piero della Francesca, and adds psychological depth to Ghiuselev's interpretation. The final painting, in which the Blue Fairy gives life to Pinocchio, is surely one of the most original and beautiful transformation scenes in children's illustrated literature. New York Times Book Review Magnificent full-collor paintings and drawings in a jaw-droppingly beautiful oversized edition. Book Trust Foundation Ghiuselev has added a tremendous atmospheric effect to the story. The artwork is expressive and poetic. The illustrations break out from their framework to give body and substance to the characters and objects featured on each page and the end papers are reminiscent of those created by famous master printers many centuries ago. It is a pleasure going through the pages and savouring each of the many captivating illustrations. This is the perfect gift book for Christmas and a collector's item in its own right. Locus This is a book to treasure, both for its illustrations and sheer, loving book craft. Simply first rate. The Midwest Book Review A treasure of a book and a gift to be remembered. The Vancouver Sun This book should bring pleasure to readers young and old for years to come. Go out and buy two copies - one for yourself and one for someone you love. The Georgia Straight A must buy.