July 17, 2023

Favorite Pinocchio Picture Books

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...and here are some other favorite fairy tale lists to check out:



Written Carly Madden and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso

This 12-page board book by Argentinian illustrator Cynthia Alonso beautifully captures key moments in Pinocchio's story through die-cut, layered pages. Each spread has its own shape, and many pages have holes for curious fingers to flip pages and sneak a glimpse at what's to come. Take a look Alonso's versions of Alice in Wonderland here and The Jungle Book here.

Pinocchio: The Origin Story

Created by Alessandro Sanna

This wordless adaptation is technically more on the graphic novel end of the illustrated book spectrum. It focuses on the formative energy that resides in the magical wood that eventually becomes Pinocchio. Told primarily in complementary colors blue and orange with large swathes of white space, this book also heavily features paneled images. Created with inks and watercolors. You can check out my interview with Alessandro Sanna about this book here.

Puppet, Plum Pit, Plum, Log and Back to Puppet

Written by Vojtěch Masek and illustrated by Chrudos Valousek

This highly graphic version of the story features neon blues, oranges, yellows, and greens, and at least a few of these hues were printed with a special fifth color. Heavily patterned, each of the images is designed to look like a woodcut, and the oversized text appears in different colors throughout to emphasize moments and speakers.  

The Adventures of Pinocchio

Written by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by MinaLima

MinaLima takes readers on a creative, brilliantly-designed journey though Pinocchio's world. There are tons of interactive elements like a wooden boy readers can position and a pop-up theater that all serve to enhance key moments of Pinocchio's story and bring them to life for readers. You can check out MinaLima's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass here.

Written by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi

Each page of this version of Pinocchio's tale features a delicate laser-cut page pasted on top of another brightly colored piece of paper. This makes the pages feel sturdy despite their beautiful intricacies. Every page of every spread features a new color combination, and all paper colors are vibrant and sans patterning or further detail aside from the laser cuts. 


Written by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by Gek Tessaro

In this retelling, Tessaro only gets one image per spread, so there's a focus on creating a mood and tone for each scene that captures a large span of text. The illustrations are ink line-drawings in heavy black, with Pinocchio featured as white against a backdrop of a single color in various hues. The color is reflective of the mood in the scene, and Tessaro has a chance to show off a range of hues across the rainbow.

Pinocchio: Le mie avventure

Written by Andrea Rauch and illustrated by G. Scarabottolo

This version feels very much like a storybook, with extra large text on one side of each spread and images on the other. The inked images appear in a wide, but dark array of blues, oranges, grays, and blacks, and the large swathes of white space are sometimes used to box Pinocchio into his situation, sometimes used to uncomfortably call him out, but always used with purpose.


By Attilio Cassinelli and translated by Vivien Danne

In this board book version of the Pinocchio story, readers get key scenes in line drawn images. These black outlines are filled with bright, solid blocks of color, and there's a lot of white space to keep everything clean and accessible to younger eyes.


Written by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by Sara Fanelli

This version is a longtime favorite of mine! The hardcover comes in a slipcase that extends the titular character's nose on one side (just about one of the best book design details ever) and introduces readers to other characters from the book on the backside. Fanelli's trademark collage illustrations are full of mischief and whimsy as Pinocchio navigates his new world. 

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