Pinocchio plays pranks upon the kindly woodcarver Geppetto, is duped by the Fox and the Cat, kills the pedantic Talking Cricket, and narrowly escapes death, with the help of the blue-haired Fairy. A wooden puppet without strings, Pinocchio is a tragicomic figure, a poor, illiterate, naughty peasant boy who has few choices in life but usually chooses to shirk his responsibilities and get into trouble. This sly and imaginative novel, alternately catastrophic and ridiculous, takes Pinocchio from one predicament to the next, and finally to an optimistic, if uncertain, ending. In his compelling introduction, Jack Zipes places Pinocchio within the traditions of the oral folk tale and the literary fairy tale, showing how Collodi subverts those traditions while raising questions about “how we ‘civilize’ children in uncivilized times.”
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