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Ian's parents took a trip to Italy earlier this year and their travels inspired them to give Sean two different copies of Pinocchio: the original version by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by Roberto Innocenti; and the Golden Book version from the 1940 Disney film.
I've read the Collodi novel once before when I was a teenager and I remember being put off by both by Pinocchio's arrogance and the surrealism of the world in which the marionette lives. Were it not for Roberto Innocenti's gorgeous illustrations I would have set Collodi's story aside without finishing it.
Like so many of the classics from the late 1800s, Pinocchio was serialized in Il Giornale dei Bambini (Children's Journal), starting in 1880. Each installment was a short allegory to teach children how to be independent thinkers (Wiki). Keeping in mind the method of publication and the reason behind it helps to put the disjointed nature of the chapters and the surreal world into perspective. Innocenti's illustrations then bring this world to life.
Read the review at Things Mean A Lot.