Pinocchio: The Origin Story

Alessandro Sanna, trans. from the Italian by Michael Reynolds. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $19.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-59270-191-9
Italian artist Sanna (The River) creates another gorgeously painted, largely wordless story, this time imagining the origins of Pinocchio. “Once upon the time there was a piece of wood, you readers would say,” he begins, echoing Collodi’s opening. “But no! Once upon a time there was the universe.” After a meteor crashes to Earth, a spindly tree grows from the crater; lightning breaks off a branch with limblike appendages that promptly scurry away. Alternating between panels and full- and double-page scenes whose bright, bleeding colors evoke tie-dyed fabrics, Sanna shows the proto-Pinocchio gathering companions and confronting a forest of trees and fire, a ravenous snake, and an enormous shark, before growing into a tree. It’s a haunting and wholly original perspective on Collodi’s classic that suggests that Pinocchio’s mischievous spirit draws from a primordial, even immortal, source of energy. Ages 5–14. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 08/09/2016
Genre: Children's
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