Once upon a time, there was ...The Adventures of Pinocchio is the story of a wooden marionette whose greatest ambition is to become a real boy. This wish will only be granted, however, if Pinocchio acts like a good boy. Instead, he is ruthless, irresponsible, gullible and lazy, but deep down, he has a good heart. Throughout the book, he faces the consequences of his bad behaviour, and ends up learning from his mistakes.
'A king!' my little readers will say right away.
No, children, you are wrong. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.
Like most people, I was familiar with this story because of the Disney animated version. This was the reason why I wanted to read the book - I like knowing the original story of characters that have become a part of popular culture. I watched the Disney movie many, many years ago, though, so I didn’t remember the story all that clearly. But after reading the book, I was left with the impression that Disney took many liberties when adapting this tale. For example, the cricket that acts as Pinocchio’s conscience plays a much smaller role in the book. Also, Pinocchio’s best known feature, having his nose grow when he lies, is only mentioned in two situations in the book, the first of which is more than halfway through the story.
This book was enjoyable, but I found it too moralistic for my taste. But this is only to be expected from a children’s novel first published in 1883, of course. The intention of the story is to show what happens to boys who don’t obey their parents, don’t go to school and don’t work hard to achieve their goals. These lessons are taught through a mostly entertaining story, but they're too over the top for my taste. Although I didn’t love the book myself, I can see why it is a children’s classic.
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