The Adventures of Pinocchio
illustration from 1883 edition by Enrico Mazzanti
AuthorCarlo Collodi
IllustratorEnrico Mazzanti
Publication date
July 7, 1881 – 1882 (magazine)
February 1883 (novel)

The Adventures of Pinocchio (/pɪˈnki/ pin-OH-kee-oh; Italian: Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino [le avvenˈtuːre di piˈnɔkkjo ˈstɔːrja di um buratˈtiːno, - dj um -], i.e. "The Adventures of Pinocchio. Story of a Puppet"), commonly shortened to Pinocchio, is a children's fantasy novel by Italian author Carlo Collodi. It is about the mischievous adventures of an animated marionette named Pinocchio and his creator and father figure, a poor woodcarver named Geppetto.

It was originally published in serial form as The Story of a Puppet (Italian: La storia di un burattino) in the Giornale per i bambini, one of the earliest Italian weekly magazines for children, starting from 7 July 1881. The story stopped after nearly 4 months and 8 episodes at Chapter 15, but by popular demand from readers, the episodes were resumed on 16 February 1882.[1] In February 1883, the story was published in a single book. Since then, Pinocchio has been one of the most popular children's books and been critically acclaimed.[1]

A universal icon and a metaphor of the human condition, the book is considered a canonical piece of children's literature and has had great impact on world culture. Philosopher Benedetto Croce considered it one of the greatest works of Italian literature.[2] Since its first publication, it has inspired many works of fiction, such as Walt Disney's animated version, and commonplace ideas such as a liar's long nose.

According to extensive research by the Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi and UNESCO sources in the late 1990s, the book has been translated into as many as 260 languages worldwide,[3][4] making it one of the world's most translated books.[3] While it is likely one of the best-selling books ever published, the actual total sales since its first publication are unknown due to the many reductions and different versions.[3] The story has been a public domain work in the U.S. since 1940. According to Viero Peroncini: "some sources report 35 million [copies sold], others 80, but it is only a way, even a rather idle one, of quantifying an unquantifiable success".[5] According to Francelia Butler, it also remains "the most translated Italian book and, after the Bible, the most widely read".[6]


As soon as Geppetto carves Pinocchio's nose, it begins to grow.

In Tuscany, Italy, a carpenter named Master Antonio finds a block of wood that he plans to carve into a table leg. However, after being frightened when the log cries out, he gives it to his neighbor Geppetto, an old man. Upon seeing the log, he plans to carve a puppet from it and make a living as a traveling puppeteer. He carves the block into a boy and names him "Pinocchio". Once the puppet is finished and Geppetto teaches him to walk, Pinocchio runs out the door and into the town, where he is caught by a Carabiniere, who assumes Pinocchio has been mistreated and imprisons Geppetto.

Pinocchio throws a hammer at the talking cricket.

Left alone, Pinocchio heads back to Geppetto's house to get something to eat, where a talking cricket warns him of the perils of disobedience and laziness. In retaliation, Pinocchio throws a hammer at the cricket, accidentally killing it. Pinocchio gets hungry and tries to fry an egg, but a chick hatches from the egg and he has to leave to find food. He knocks on a neighbor's door, but they fear he is pulling a prank and dump water on him. Cold and wet, Pinocchio goes home and lies down on a stove, and upon waking he finds his feet have burned off. Luckily, Geppetto is released from prison and makes Pinocchio a new pair of feet. In gratitude, he promises to attend school, and Geppetto makes him a suit of clothing consisting of a dress made from flowered paper, tree bark shoes, and a cap made of dough, and sells his only coat to buy him a school book.

Geppetto is released from prison and makes Pinocchio a new pair of feet.
The puppet master Mangiafuoco

On his way to school the next morning, Pinocchio encounters the Great Marionette Theatre and sells his school book to buy a ticket for the show. During the performance, the puppets Harlequin, Pulcinella and Signora Rosaura call out to Pinocchio; this angers the puppet master Mangiafuoco, and he decides to use Pinocchio as firewood. However, after Pinocchio pleads for his and Harlequin's salvation and he learns of Geppetto's poverty, Mangiafuoco releases him and gives him five gold pieces.

The Fox and the Cat

On his way home, Pinocchio meets a fox and a cat. The Cat pretends to be blind, and the Fox pretends to be lame; a white blackbird tries to warn Pinocchio of their lies, but the Cat eats it. The two convince Pinocchio that if he plants his coins in the Field of Miracles outside the city of Acchiappacitrulli, they will grow into a tree with gold coins. They stop at an inn, where they trick Pinocchio into paying for their meals and flee after telling the innkeeper to tell Pinocchio they would meet him at the Field of Miracles in the morning.

The Fox and the Cat, dressed as bandits, hang Pinocchio.

As Pinocchio sets off for Catchfools, the ghost of the Talking Cricket appears and tells him to go home and give the coins to his father. Pinocchio ignores his warnings again and as he passes through a forest, the Fox and Cat, disguised as bandits, ambush and rob him. After biting off the Cat's paw, he escapes to a white house, where he is greeted by a young fairy with turquoise hair who says she is dead and waiting for a hearse. Unfortunately, the Fox and the Cat catch Pinocchio and hang him in a tree, and leave after getting tired of waiting for him to suffocate.

The Fairy saves Pinocchio.

The Fairy has Pinocchio rescued and calls in three doctors to evaluate him - the Owl says he is alive, the Crow says he is dead, and the Ghost of the Talking Cricket says he is fine, but has been disobedient and hurt his father. The Fairy administers medicine to Pinocchio, which he takes when several Undertaker rabbits appear to collect his body. Now recovered, Pinocchio lies to the Fairy when she asks what happened to the gold coins and his nose grows. The Fairy explains that Pinocchio's lies are causing his nose to grow and calls in a flock of woodpeckers to chisel it down to size. She then sends for Geppetto to come and live with them in the forest cottage.

They finally reach the city of Catchfools.

As Pinocchio heads out to meet his father, he once again encounters the Fox and the Cat, who remind him of the Field of Miracles, and he agrees to go with them and plant his gold. Once there, Pinocchio buries his coins and leaves to wait twenty minutes for it to grow; during this time, the Fox and the Cat dig up the coins and run away.

Pinocchio and the gorilla judge

Once Pinocchio returns, a parrot mocks him for falling for the Fox and Cat's tricks. Pinocchio rushes to the Catchfools courthouse, where he reports the theft of the coins to a gorilla judge. Although he is moved by Pinocchio's plea, the gorilla judge sentences him to four months in prison for the crime of foolishness. Fortunately, all criminals are released early when the Emperor of Catchfools declares a celebration following his army's victory over the town's enemies.

The giant snake

As Pinocchio heads back to the forest, he finds an enormous snake with a smoking tail blocking the way. He asks the serpent to move, but it remains completely still, and he assumes it is dead. He begins to step over it, but it suddenly rises up and hisses at him, toppling him over onto his head. Struck by Pinocchio's fright and comical position, the snake laughs so hard he bursts an artery and dies.

Pinocchio then heads back to the Fairy's house in the forest, where he sneaks into a farmer's yard to steal some grapes. He is caught in a weasel trap and encounters a glowworm, where the farmer finds him and ties him up in his doghouse. When Pinocchio foils the chicken-stealing weasels, the farmer frees him as a reward. Pinocchio finally returns to the cottage, but there he finds nothing but a gravestone and believes the Fairy has died.

Pinocchio and the pigeon fly to the seashore.

A friendly pigeon sees Pinocchio mourning the Fairy's death and offers to give him a ride to the seashore, where Geppetto is building a boat to search for Pinocchio. Pinocchio is washed ashore when he tries to swim to his father, who is swallowed by The Terrible Dogfish. Pinocchio accepts a ride from a dolphin to the nearest island, the Island of Busy Bees. Upon arriving on the island, Pinocchio offers to carry a lady's jug home in return for food and water, and upon arriving at her house, he recognizes the lady as the Fairy, now old enough to be his mother. She says she will act as his mother, and he will begin going to school. She hints that if he does well in school and is good for one year, then he will become a real boy.

Alidoro saves Pinocchio from the Green Fisherman.

Pinocchio studies hard and rises to the top of his class, making the other boys jealous. They trick Pinocchio into playing hookey by saying they saw a large sea monster at the beach, the same one that swallowed Geppetto. However, they were lying, and a fight breaks out, during which Pinocchio is accused of injuring another boy. He escapes, and along the way saves a drowning Mastiff named Alidoro. In exchange, Alidoro later saves Pinocchio from The Green Fisherman, who was going to eat him. After meeting the Snail that works for the Fairy, she gives him another chance.

The wagon of the Coachman that leads the boys in the Land of Toys

Pinocchio does excellently in school, and the Fairy promises that he will be a real boy the next day, saying he should invite all his friends to a party. He goes to invite everyone, but he is sidetracked after meeting his closest friend from school, a boy nicknamed Candlewick. He is heading to a place called The Land of Toys, where everyone plays all day and never works or studies. Pinocchio goes along with him, and they have a wonderful time for the next five months.

Pinocchio and Candlewick became donkeys.

One morning in the fifth month, Pinocchio and Candlewick awake with donkeys' ears. A marmot tells Pinocchio that he has gotten donkey fever, as boys who play and never study turn into donkeys. Soon, both Pinocchio and Candlewick are fully transformed, and Pinocchio is sold to a circus where he is trained to do tricks, until he falls and sprains his leg after seeing the Fairy in one of the box seats. The ringmaster then sells Pinocchio to a man who wants to skin him and use his hide to make a drum, and throws him into the sea to drown him. But when he goes to retrieve the corpse, he finds Pinocchio, who explains that the fish ate all the donkey skin off him and he is now a puppet again. Pinocchio dives back into the water and swims out to sea, where the Terrible Dogfish appears and swallows him. Inside the Dogfish, Pinocchio unexpectedly finds Geppetto, and they escape with help from a large tuna and look for a new place to live.

Pinocchio finds Geppetto inside the Dogfish.
Pinocchio recognizes the farmer's donkey as his friend Candlewick.

Pinocchio and Geppetto encounter the Fox and the Cat, who are now impoverished and lame and blind respectively. They plead for food and money, but Pinocchio rebuffs them and tells them that they have earned their misfortune. Geppetto and Pinocchio then arrive at a small house, which is home to the Talking Cricket. The Talking Cricket says they can stay and reveals that he got his house from a little goat with turquoise hair. Pinocchio gets a job doing work for a farmer, and recognizes their dying donkey as his friend Candlewick.

Pinocchio becomes a real human boy.

After long months of working for the farmer and supporting the ailing Geppetto, Pinocchio goes to town with the forty pennies he has saved to buy himself a new suit. He discovers that the Fairy is ill and needs money, and gives the Snail he met back on the Island of Busy Bees all of his money. That night, he dreams that he is visited by the Fairy, who kisses him. When he wakes up, he is a real boy, with his puppet body lying lifeless on a chair. The Fairy has also left him a new suit, boots, and a bag which contains 40 gold coins. Geppetto also returns to health.



Carlo Collodi

The Adventures of Pinocchio incorporates elements similar to that of fairy tales, as it is a story about an animated puppet and boys who turn into donkeys. The story is set in the Tuscan area of Italy, and features Italian language peppered with Florentine dialect features, such as the protagonist's Florentine name.

The third chapter of the story published on July 14, 1881 in the Giornale per i bambini

As a young man, Collodi joined the seminary. However, the cause of Italian unification (Risorgimento) usurped his calling, as he took to journalism as a means of supporting the Risorgimento in its struggle with the Austrian Empire.[7] In the 1850s, Collodi began to have a variety of both fiction and non-fiction books published. Once, he translated some French fairy-tales so well that he was asked whether he would like to write some of his own. In 1848, Collodi started publishing Il Lampione, a newspaper of political satire. With the founding of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, Collodi ceased his journalistic and militaristic activities and began writing children's books.[7]

Collodi wrote a number of didactic children's stories for the recently unified Italy, including Viaggio per l'Italia di Giannettino ("Little Johnny's voyage through Italy"; 1876), a series about an unruly boy who undergoes humiliating experiences while traveling the country, and Minuzzolo (1878).[8] In 1881, he sent a short episode in the life of a wooden puppet to a friend who edited a newspaper in Rome, wondering whether the editor would be interested in publishing this "bit of foolishness" in his children's section. The editor did, and the children loved it.[9]

The Adventures of Pinocchio was originally published in serial form in the Giornale per i bambini, one of the earliest Italian weekly magazines for children, starting from 7 July 1881. In the original, serialized version, Pinocchio dies a gruesome death: hanged for his innumerable faults, at the end of Chapter 15. At the request of his editor, Collodi added chapters 16–36, in which the Fairy with Turquoise Hair rescues Pinocchio and eventually transforms him into a real boy, when he acquires a deeper understanding of himself, making the story more suitable for children. In the second half of the book, the maternal figure of the Blue-haired Fairy is the dominant character, versus the paternal figure of Geppetto in the first part. In February 1883, the story was published in a single book with huge success.[1]

Children's literature was a new idea in Collodi's time, an innovation in the 19th century. Thus in content and style it was new and modern, opening the way to many writers of the following century.

International popularity

Some of the more than 260 translations of the book displayed at the Accademia della Crusca library, Florence

The Adventures of Pinocchio is the world's third most translated book (240-260 languages),[3][4] and was the first work of Italian children’s literature to achieve international fame.[10] The book has had great impact on world culture, and it was met with enthusiastic reviews worldwide. The title character is a cultural icon and one of the most reimagined characters in children's literature.[11] The popularity of the story was bolstered by the powerful philosopher-critic Benedetto Croce, who greatly admired the tale and reputed it as one of the greatest works of Italian literature.[2]

Carlo Collodi, who died in 1890, was respected during his lifetime as a talented writer and social commentator, and his fame continued to grow when Pinocchio was first translated into English by Mary Alice Murray in 1892, whose translation was added to the widely read Everyman's Library in 1911. Other well regarded English translations include the 1926 translation by Carol Della Chiesa, and the 1986 bilingual edition by Nicolas J. Perella. The first appearance of the book in the United States was in 1898, with publication of the first US edition in 1901, translated and illustrated by Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland.[1] From that time, the story was one of the most famous children's books in the United States and an important step for many illustrators.[1]

Together with those from the United Kingdom, the American editions contributed to the popularity of Pinocchio in countries more culturally distant from Italy, such as Iceland and Asian countries.[1] In 1905, Otto Julius Bierbaum published a new version of the book in Germany, entitled Zapfelkerns Abenteuer (lit. The Adventures of Pine Nut), and the first French edition was published in 1902. Between 1911 and 1945, translations were made into all European languages and several languages of Asia, Africa and Oceania.[12][1] In 1936, Soviet writer Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy published a reworked version of Pinocchio titled The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino (originally a character in the commedia dell'arte), which became one of the most popular characters of Russian children's literature.

Pinocchio puppets in a puppet shop window in Florence

The first stage adaptation was launched in 1899, written by Gattesco Gatteschi and Enrico Guidotti and directed by Luigi Rasi.[1] Also, Pinocchio was adopted as a pioneer of cinema: in 1911, Giulio Antamoro featured him in a 45-minute hand-coloured silent film starring Polidor (an almost complete version of the film was restored in the 1990s).[1] In 1932, Noburō Ōfuji directed a Japanese movie with an experimental technique using animated puppets,[1] while in the 1930s in Italy, there was an attempt to produce a full-length animated cartoon film of the same title. The 1940 Walt Disney version was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles, machinery and natural elements such as rain, lightning, smoke, shadows and water.

Literary analysis

"As he lies, his nose grows", illustration by Carlo Chiostri

Before writing Pinocchio, Collodi wrote a number of didactic children's stories for the recently unified Italy, including a series about an unruly boy who undergoes humiliating experiences while traveling the country, titled Viaggio per l'Italia di Giannettino ("Little Johnny's voyage through Italy").[8] Throughout Pinocchio, Collodi chastises Pinocchio for his lack of moral fiber and his persistent rejection of responsibility and desire for fun.

The structure of the story of Pinocchio follows that of the folk-tales of peasants who venture out into the world but are naively unprepared for what they find, and get into ridiculous situations.[13] At the time of the writing of the book, this was a serious problem, arising partly from the industrialization of Italy, which led to a growing need for reliable labour in the cities; the problem was exacerbated by similar, more or less simultaneous, demands for labour in the industrialization of other countries. One major effect was the emigration of much of the Italian peasantry to cities and to foreign countries, often as far away as South and North America.

Some literary analysts have described Pinocchio as an epic hero. According to Thomas J. Morrissey and Richard Wunderlich in Death and Rebirth in Pinocchio (1983) "such mythological events probably imitate the annual cycle of vegetative birth, death, and renascence, and they often serve as paradigms for the frequent symbolic deaths and rebirths encountered in literature. Two such symbolic renderings are most prominent: re-emergence from a journey to hell and rebirth through metamorphosis. Journeys to the underworld are a common feature of Western literary epics: Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Aeneas, and Dante all benefit from the knowledge and power they put on after such descents. Rebirth through metamorphosis, on the other hand, is a motif generally consigned to fantasy or speculative literature [...] These two figurative manifestations of the death-rebirth trope are rarely combined; however, Carlo Collodi's great fantasy-epic, The Adventures of Pinocchio, is a work in which a hero experiences symbolic death and rebirth through both infernal descent and metamorphosis. Pinocchio is truly a fantasy hero of epic proportions [...] Beneath the book's comic-fantasy texture—but not far beneath—lies a symbolic journey to the underworld, from which Pinocchio emerges whole."[14]

The main imperatives demanded of Pinocchio are to work, be good, and study. And in the end Pinocchio's willingness to provide for his father and devote himself to these things transforms him into a real boy with modern comforts. "as a hero of what is, in the classic sense, a comedy, Pinocchio is protected from ultimate catastrophe, although he suffers quite a few moderate calamities. Collodi never lets the reader forget that disaster is always a possibility; in fact, that is just what Pinocchio's mentors —Geppetto, the Talking Cricket, and the Fairy— repeatedly tell him. Although they are part of a comedy, Pinocchio's adventures are not always funny. Indeed, they are sometimes sinister. The book's fictive world does not exclude injury, pain, or even death—they are stylized but not absent. [...] Accommodate them he does, by using the archetypal birth-death-rebirth motif as a means of structuring his hero's growth to responsible boyhood. Of course, the success of the puppet's growth is rendered in terms of his metamorphic rebirth as a flesh-and-blood human."[14]


See also: The Adventures of Pinocchio

The story has been adapted into many forms on stage and screen, some keeping close to the original Collodi narrative while others treat the story more freely. There are at least fourteen English-language films based on the story, Italian, French, Russian, German, Japanese and other versions for the big screen and for television, and several musical adaptations.


The Adventures of Pinocchio, 1911
Animated depictions of the protagonist from Pinocchio (1940), The Adventures of Pinocchio (1972) and Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)


Other books


One of numerous stage adaptations of the novel, this one at the Serbian National Theatre (2018)

Cultural influence

Video Games

Monuments and art works dedicated to Pinocchio

A giant statue of Pinocchio at Parco di Pinocchio (it) in Pescia

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Adventures of Pinocchio - Fondazione Pinocchio - Carlo Collodi - Parco di Pinocchio". Fondazione Pinocchio. Archived from the original on 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  2. ^ a b Benedetto Croce, «Pinocchio», in Idem, La letteratura della nuova Italia, vol. V, Laterza, Bari 1957 (IV ed.), pp. 330-334.
  3. ^ a b c d Giovanni Gasparini. La corsa di Pinocchio. Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 1997. p. 117. ISBN 88-343-4889-3
  4. ^ a b "Imparare le lingue con Pinocchio". ANILS (in Italian). 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 20 November 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  5. ^ Viero Peroncini (April 3, 2018). "Carlo Collodi, il papà del burattino più conformista della letteratura" (in Italian). Archived from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  6. ^ [...]remains the most translated Italian book and, after the Bible, the most widely read[...] by Francelia Butler, Children's Literature, Yale University Press, 1972
  7. ^ a b "Carlo Collodi -". Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b Gaetana Marrone; Paolo Puppa (26 December 2006). Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. Routledge. pp. 485–. ISBN 978-1-135-45530-9. Archived from the original on 12 July 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  9. ^ "The Story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  10. ^ "The Real Story of Pinocchio Tells No Lies | Travel". Archived from the original on 2022-05-26. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  11. ^ "Pinocchio: Carlo Collodi - Children's Literature Review". Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  12. ^ "Collodi, Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Carlo Lorenzi- ni, Volume III". Archived from the original on 2018-05-18. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  13. ^ Collodi, Carlo (1996). "Introduction". In Zipes, Jack (ed.). Pinocchio. Penguin Books. pp. xiii–xv.
  14. ^ a b Morrissey, Thomas J., and Richard Wunderlich. "Death and Rebirth in Pinocchio." Children's Literature 11 (1983): 64–75.
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 8, 2015). "'Pinocchio'-Inspired Live-Action Pic In The Works At Disney". Deadline.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 24, 2020). "Robert Zemeckis Closes Deal To Direct & Co-Write Disney's Live-Action 'Pinocchio'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  17. ^ Trumbore, Dave (6 November 2018). "Netflix Sets Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' and Henry Selick's 'Wendell & Wild' for 2021". Collider. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  18. ^ La Stampa, IT, 1998-02-20((citation)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link).
  19. ^ Weldon, John. "Spinnolio" (Adobe Flash). Animated short. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  20. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. "Introduction." Astro Boy Volume 1 (Comic by Osamu Tezuka). Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus. Page 3 of 3 (The introduction section has 3 pages). ISBN 1-56971-676-5.
  21. ^ "Plumbing Stanley Kubrick". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  22. ^ "UCI turns to unlikely figure of Pinocchio to promote 2013 World Road Race Championships in Tuscany". The Telegraph. October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2023.
  23. ^ Gerblick, Jordan (August 27, 2022). "Lies of P is about Pinocchio for three very good reasons, actually". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 9, 2023. Retrieved September 17, 2023.
  24. ^ "MORELLI, Vittorio in "Dizionario Biografico"". Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  25. ^ MonrifNet (19 November 2010). "Il Giorno - Varese - Per Pinocchio ha un nuovo look Restaurato al Parco Zanzi". Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  26. ^ "Viù: Il Pinocchio gigante è instabile, via dalla piazza del paese: Torna nelle mani del falegname Silvano Rocchietti," Archived 2022-11-06 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) Torino Today (Oct. 2, 2018).