Pinocchio comes to life, in this amazing childrens book

Posted in Efteling on Monday, June 6, 2016
Author: Dion Verhelst

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Pinocchio, the wooden doll that finally becomes a real boy after he has learned some very valuable life lessons. I'm pretty sure that you've all heard about him, probably seen him in the Disney movie too, but I'm also pretty sure that not all of you know, that Disney took some liberty and changed the story somewhat.

On March 24th 2016 there was a huge celebration going on in the Efteling. They'ne opened the 29th fairytale in the fairytale forest: Pinocchio, the naughty doll. The story was represented by Gepetto's house, two barrels containing the cunning fox and his friend the cat and a monstrous fish in a lake (with a little surprise). The tale as depicted in the Efteling was designed by designer Robert-Jaap Jansen and Alessio Castellani.

On March 31th 2016 the Efteling released a story book about the same fairytale, using drawings created by Alessio Castellani and we got the chance to review it. A little sidenote: the book is written in Dutch.

Bedtime story

On a warm summer evening, me and my 6 year old daughter sat on the edge of her bed. On top of my lap lay a book, a yellow book, with a red bound back and an engravement on the back in gold. Pinokkio it says. I look at my daughter, she looks back at me, anticipation in her eyes. We're both very familiar with the story of Pinocchio, the Disney version and the original. The Efteling version lies very close to the original one, thanks to Alessio Castellani, who protects this story and tries to keep it as original as possible.

We open the cover together, a gasp, several drawings of: the owner of the theater, an owl, the blue fairy, animals, they're all running to the right. I flip another page and another one. I start to read the story to my daughter, her hands lay on her lap and her eyes sparkle as she sees the beautiful drawings that fill this book. The story is told in short little pieces and it clearly becomes clear that this book is made for the drawings, not so much for the story since it leaves a couple of gaps laying around.

We learn how Pinocchio disobeys his 'father' Gepetto and gets into all kind of trouble. He ends up in a theater (but isn't encaged, instead he earns money and is free to go), he meets a cunning fox and cat who try to take his money away, he is distracted by children in a wooden cart who ask him to follow them to Pleasureland, and so on. But with any fairytale, this story ends well. Pinocchio learns his lessons and finally gets turned into a real boy by the Blue Fairy. And the way they depict this into the story is the favorite part of my daughter. The last page consists of two pages folded together. On one page you see Pinocchio standing, in front of the Blue fairy, but if you flip that page open you see the same scene, only Pinocchio has turned into a real boy.

My thoughts

I love reading stories, and I love reading them to my daughter. This book is perfect for that cause. The story is short but understandable and I'm very happy that it lays so very close to the original story written by Carlo Collodi, but what really makes this book worth every penny are the drawings that are inside. When we first opened the book, and came to the page of Gepetto sleeping in his home, both of our jaws dropped open. We surely enjoyed reading it, and will read it over and over again. I secretly hope that every other fairytale in the fairytale forest gets the same treatment.

Are you interested in buying this book? Click here

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Dion Verhelst

Dion Verhelst

Guitarist, Pixel Artist, Web Designer/Front-Ender and on top of all that, family man. Dion loves entertainment, and what better entertainment than theme parks? For Thrillz he writes blogs and reviews about themeparks and themepark related products, and creates content for the social media platforms.

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