Pinocchio, the story of a puppet who wanted to be a boy, is frequently found on many of our favorite book lists. Written in Italian in the 1880s by Carlo Collodi (pen name of Carlo Lorenzini), Pinocchio has been a favorite character of young and old alike for hundreds of years.
The story tells the tale of a wooden puppet cut by Master Cherry of some very different wood, and carved by Gepetto, a wood carver who loves the the insolent young rascal. Over time Pinocchio wants to be good, but oh, the troubles he gets himself into. Resolve after resolve is never quite enough to keep him on the right path:
Collodi’s story is rich in its portrayal of human nature and the inner battle between good and evil. The folly of bad companions, the dire results of lying, and a number of other basic values are graphically illustrated, along with the adventure and humor for which the story is so well known.
The Disney film that came out in the ’40s was produced with the purpose to entertain, and is a very different story. Pinocchio is probably not suitable for the youngest children, and in fact it is slightly older children that will probably enjoy and benefit from the story the most. As always, you know your children best!
There are several different translations available in the public domain. We have linked to the one that that retains the life of the story.
- Read online
- Variety of formats (EPUB, Kindle)
- Librivox audio
Wide range of ideas here. You’ll find resources for most of these suggestions in the Additional Resources below.
- Find Italy on a map.
- At a few places in the story you can ask your child what he thinks will happen next, just try not to overdo this one.
- Make a list of the many animals Pinocchio comes into contact with.
- There are many, many instances that show cause and effect in the story. For example, the most obvious is that if Pinocchio lies, his nose grows! Have your child fill out a cause and effect sheet listing as many as he can find or remember.
- Make a puppet.
The Story of Pinocchio
Brief biography of the author.
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #3 Literature
Other suggestions for getting more out of the story.
Cause and Effect
Simple cause/effect recording sheet at ReadWriteThink.org for completing the suggestion above.
The Adventures of Pinocchio
HarperPerennial Classics version for those interested.
Same version with a different illustrator at Children’s Books Online.
Pinocchio Activity Pack
Designed to go with a children’s theater production in London, this six-page download has many useful ideas that fit very well with the original story.
Printables & Notebooking Pages
Map of Europe
To locate and color Italy.
Pinocchio Coloring Pages
Pinocchio Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, making predictions, or wrapping up.