1. Old Stories, New Illustrations

    Carlo Collodi’s 1883 Italian fable, Pinocchio, gains buoyancy from the cartoon figures and candy hues of Fulvio Testa’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations. This large, elegant volume about the wooden puppet that becomes a real boy recounts Pinocchio’s vertiginous, morally complex adventures with artistic good cheer that softens the sharper, scarier bits. The toothy mouth of the shark that swallows Pinocchio and his father, Geppetto, for instance, looks more like the entrance to an amusement park ride than a terrifying maw.

    —a review of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, illustrated by Fulvio Testa and translated by Geoffrey Brock in The Wall Street Journal's “Gift Guide 2012: Children’s Books.” Here’s Brock’s translation of the scene: “With renewed strength and energy, he began swimming toward the white rock, and he was already halfway there when he saw, rising out of the water and coming towards him, the terrifying head of a sea monster, its mouth gaping like a hugh cavern, and three rows of fangs that would have been scary even just in a picture.”

Notes

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