Carlo Collodi, Author, Ed Young, Illustrator Philomel Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-399-22941-1
Midway on the spectrum between the harshness of Carlo Collodi's (1826-1890) original and the sweet, sanitized Disney version lies this thoughtful adaptation. Young (Seven Blind Mice) views the story theatrically, in an author's note emphasizing the influence of the commedia dell'arte, and dividing the story itself into ""scenes."" But other than this structural tinkering, Young stays true to the plot, deviating from the original only to smooth out the rough edges for a modern audience. For example, he includes Pinocchio's near-fatal hanging, yet omits morbid details. The stylized cut-paper, fabric and chalk illustrations, however, are problematic. While inventive and skilled, they have little emotional appeal and may even be unsettling with their dissonant, clashing colors. Earlier versions by Roberto Innocenti and Chris McEwan are more visually pleasing, but Young's storytelling is the most in tune with a young audience. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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