Monday, 28 October 2013

Pinocchio by Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester-Clarke (HarperCollins Children's Books)


Written by Michael Morpurgo

Illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clarke

Published by HarperCollins Children's Books

It seems like ages ago that Charlotte started Year 1 and gained access to the school library for the very first time. The first book she picked, from the shelves of books she had to choose from was Pinocchio - albeit the Disney treatment (I wrote a blog post about it, it was a very touching moment).

So when Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester-Clarke turned their hand to an adaptation of the classic by Carlo Collodi, I was intrigued. I love Michael Morpurgo's fantastic "War Horse" and have previously only seen one or two of his children's books (We have a copy of "It's a Dog's Life" at home that gets read very often!) so this would be an interesting book to delve into.

Emma's artwork brings Pinocchio to life (well, that's not strictly a spoiler is it?) Crammed with detail, deft characterisations and fabulous thrills, Pinocchio doesn't feel hewn from wood, it feels living and vivid - and this version is something to be treasured. Charlotte wanted to know why Pinocchio was so naughty all the time, why did he do those things and how did he end up being in so many scrapes and near-misses?

As she gets older, I can imagine her digging this out again to read on her own - to discover in it the story of a couple who make a puppet, that magically comes to life, that eventually has to learn the ways of the world (sometimes the hard way) and eventually gets his wish to be a real boy. It's a magical tale with the most moreish readability (a perfect book to spread over a series of bedtimes for maximum enjoyment and effect).

I loved the cheeky Michael and Emma cameo btw, and any book that features a certain plummy black dog who we just cannot get enough of, is a huge hit.

Charlotte's best bit: Though they're essentially the epitome of nastiness, Charlotte loved the blind cat and the fox!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Some rather lovely cameos in this, and an utterly wonderful version of a well-loved classic.

(Kindly sent to us for review by HarperCollins Children's Books)