The classic tale of literature's most beloved puppet is retold in this lively, easy-to-read adaptation ideal for young and reluctant readers. Pinocchio, a lonely woodcarver's puppet, magically comes to life, runs away, and gets into a lot of trouble. The wooden hero tells lies, gets robbed by a sly cat and fox, and is swallowed by a hungry shark before he learns that good deeds, not bad, will help him to fulfill his dream of becoming a real boy.
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Carlo Collodi wrote Pinicchio as episodes in a periodical, which were then collected and published in novel form. The well-known Disney version is much happier than the original. Notice the differences as you read.
The narrator begins the story in the oral folk tale tradition, as if he were actually telling the story. You think this will be the usual "Once upon a time" story, but instead of a king or princess, "there was a piece of wood." This indicates the story may not follow tradition.
Words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings are homophones. Using context clues in the highlighted sentence, what is the meaning of the word plane?
What does the author intend through the use of the simile in the highlighted sentence?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it’s so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Try it right now to look up the word adversary.
Can you notice the differences between the Disney version and Collodi's original? Pinocchio behaves badly as soon as his parts are made: laughs cruelly, sticks out his tongue, and grabs Geppetto's wig. In Disney's version, Pinocchio does not come alive until the Blue Fairy arrives to grant Geppetto's wish and once alive, shows kindness and happiness.
Situational irony occurs when actions have an effect opposite what is expected. What about this scene describing Pinocchio running away is situational irony?
The author describes Pinocchio as an imp, or a trouble maker, from the start. Disney introduces Pinocchio as a happy, innocent child as you will see in the clip below. Why do you think Disney changed the character trait of Pinocchio? (This annotation contains a video)
What does the cricket mean when he tells Pinocchio that he pities him because he is a puppet and has a "wooden head"?
An idiom is an expression having a special meaning different from the usual meanings of the words. For example, "up a creek without a paddle" means a situation involving trouble. Which phrase accurately uses an idiom to describe Pinocchio's hunger?
Since this story was originally written in episodes published weekly in a children’s magazine, the author needed to keep the reader interested. Each chapter begins with a strange and ridiculous situation and ends with the situation not quite resolved. Imagine if you didn’t have the next chapter on the next page, but had to wait a week to see what happens. Would the ending of the chapter keep you interested?
What can you infer about how the man feels about Pinocchio from the highlighted sentence?
A brazier is a standing metal bowl used for holding burning coal for a source of light or heat.
Why was Geppetto angry at Pinocchio?
Geppetto repeats this phrase three times in this chapter. He directs Pinocchio to save the pear core and rind because you never know what is going to happen in the future. The repeated phrase is foreshadowing and hints that there are more ups and downs to come for Pinocchio. As you read, note where this phrase appears again.
Use the Define function to learn the definition of appeased. Which of the words below is a synonym for appeased?
Geppetto shows his generosity and love for Pinocchio by selling his coat to buy the spelling book. Would you use the same character traits to describe Pinocchio? Learn more about character traits in the following video. (This annotation contains a video)
Pinocchio has such grand plans for learning a lot in school and making an enormous amount of money. Is it in his character to stick to a wise plan?
What did Pinocchio offer to sell before offering the spelling book?
Harlequin and Punchinello is a comedy routine where Harlequin, known for his cunning behavior, is arguing with the short, stocky Punchinello. In Pinocchio, the characters are played by puppets, but in 16th century Italy, humans played the part, as shown in the painting below by Nicolas Lancret. (This annotation contains an image)
How do you know Pinocchio feels overjoyed and accepted with the welcome he receives from the puppet show actors?
This description of the showman is a strong example of imagery. Learn more about imagery from the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Use context clues or the Define feature to find the definition for lamentations. Which word below is the best antonym for lamentations?
A theme is a repeated idea that develops over the course of the text. Doing what you want versus caring for others is a strong theme of this story. When Pinocchio does what he wants, the results can be tragic, but when he cares for others the results are positive.
What can you infer about the Fox and the Cat from their actions after Pinocchio pulls out his five gold pieces?
The blackbird is a symbol of Pinocchio's conscience, trying to tell him to ignore the Fox and the Cat. Learn more about literary symbolism in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Pinocchio Chapters 1-12 Quiz
Authors use hyperbole and understatement to highlight the dramatic effect of the situation. Hyperbole is exaggeration as in "I ate a ton of hot dogs." Understatement is saying the situation is less than it really is. In the highlighted paragraphs, the author makes an understatement when he writes "none of them had any appetite," but lists the large amount of food the Cat is eating. Does the author use hyperbole or understatement to describe the meal for the Fox?
Remember, a theme is a central idea that continues throughout the text. Explain how the cricket's statement relates to the theme of learning from mistakes to achieve success.
The author uses a simile to compare the assassins to phantoms. View this video to learn more about similes. (This annotation contains a video)
The author uses a simile to compare Pinocchio's quick movement to _______
Pinocchio encounters many conflicts in this novel. The current conflict with the assassins is an external conflict. Learn more about conflict in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the author mean when he says, "the puppet, luckily for him, was made of very hard wood?
From the actions of the large Falcon, what can you infer about the Little Girl with the blue hair?
The author adds humor in this scene with the dialogue between the doctors. The Crow says Pinocchio is dead, but if he is not dead, he is alive. The Owl says Pinocchio is alive, but if he is not alive, then he is dead. Their statements are humorous because they have stated obvious facts. In contrast, the Talking Cricket says it is wise to not say anything when you don't know what you are talking about. Talking Cricket then describes what he knows about Pinocchio, who cowers under his clothes. Do you think Talking Cricket knows Pinocchio is alive?
In the highlighted sentence the narrator talks to you, the reader, directly. This allows you to feel a connection to the story-telling and, in this case, gives you background information to explain how Pinocchio was cured so quickly.
What motivates Pinocchio to lie to the Fairy about the location of the gold pieces?
The word modest in this sentence means that the Cat will not brag about cutting off her own paw to feed the wolf. Of course, this adjective is inaccurate based on the Cat's true actions that caused the loss of her paw. What adjective would you use to describe the Cat's true actions?
What does Pinocchio mean when he says the mice would be fortunate?
Pinocchio's conscience is again urging him to listen to previous warnings, but his greed and ignorance get the better of him and he makes the wrong decision again. Have you ever made a wrong decision twice, even after being warned?
The parrot is talking to Pinocchio just as a human being would talk. This type of figurative language is personification, or giving something that is not human the characteristics of a human.
The meaning of benignity is kindness toward others.
Irony is when something opposite of what you expect happens. Explain the irony of Pinocchio going to jail in this scene.
Pinocchio is aware that his disobedient actions have caused all his troubles and says he has now learned the lesson that disobedience leads to misery. Do you think he will forget this lesson again?
What makes a spring an effective comparison for the Serpent?
The author structures the story to tell the events as they, or chronologically. Why do you think the author chose chronological order to tell this story?
Based on what you know about Pinocchio's previous encounters, what do you predict will happen with the polecats?
Did you predict correctly? From the previous encounters, you might think that Pinocchio would be tricked or would make a deal to gain something. In this case, he did as he was told by the peasant and was rewarded with freedom. Good readers clear up any confusion as they read by re-reading, summarizing, or using context clues. Practice good reader strategies as you continue reading the novel.
The words agony, sobs, lamentations and heart-breaking give you clues to the mood of this scene. What word would you use to describe the mood? Learn more about tone and mood in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize Pinocchio's experience with the Pigeon. Be sure to include what Pinocchio has learned about eating all his food because you never know what will happen (remember the lesson with the pear cores in chapter VII).
Which definition of the word vain is accurate for the highlighted sentence?
Pinocchio says he is a bad son because he feels guilty about the way he has treated Geppetto. What are some of the ways he has hurt Geppetto?
What causes Pinocchio to carry one of the cans to the woman's house?
Quiz Chapters 13-24
Ha'p'orth means an amount that can be bought for half a penny. Is that a large amount or small amount?
Which statement best summarizes the central idea of Pinocchio's conversation with the Fairy?
How does Pinocchio make friends at school?
Pinocchio is again faced with a decision to make a right or wrong choice. Initially, he chooses right, but his schoolmates pressure him to make the wrong decision. This is called peer pressure. Learn more about peer pressure in this video. (This annotation contains a video)
Pinocchio feels ___________ when he learns the boys have tricked him into skipping school.
The idiom "preached to the wind" means the crab was giving good advice like a preacher would, but just as the wind does not hear, the boys are not listening to his advice.
What can you infer about the schoolboys who trick Pinocchio?
When the narrator uses the word "excellent" to describe Pinocchio's heart, you know the narrator believes Pinocchio has a good heart and will do the right thing to help the dog. What does this show about Pinocchio?
Which definition of the word "mortified" is accurate based on this sentence?
Pinocchio saved Alidoro from drowning and now the dog has come back return the favor. Do you think Pinocchio has learned how to be a good boy yet?
Why does Pinocchio hesitate before knocking on the Fairy's door?
How long does it take the Snail to make it down to open the door?
Good readers focus on important ideas, ask questions as they read, and predict what will happen next. Here is one example of a good reader's thoughts as they read. Pinocchio has been well behaved for a long time and has excelled in school as he promised. The narrator hints that Pinocchio good behavior will not last. What will he do now? Will he ever find Geppetto?
The name Romeo is a character from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Romeo has the reputation of being romantic with the ladies. In this story, Pinocchio is drawn to Romeo (Candlewick) like women are drawn to Shakespeare's Romeo. His personality is "bright" and this makes Pinocchio devoted to him.
Which item is NOT a description of Toyland?
Compare how the schoolboys in Chapter 26 persuade Pinocchio to skip school to the way Candlewick persuades him. How are their methods similar and different?
Beasts of burden are animals that carry a heavy load. Donkeys are steady on their feet and can carry heavy loads on rough terrain. Why would the coach need twelve pairs of donkeys to pull it?
Why does Pinocchio change his mind and go with the boys to Toyland?
Collodi's description of Toyland is much different from Disney's adaptation. View the clip of Disney's version of Pleasure Island. Why do you think Disney changed it so much? Does it look pleasurable to you? (This annotation contains a video)
Which dictionary definition of magnificent is accurate for this sentence?
Pinocchio tells the Marmot he does not understand donkey fever, but he really does. He understands that he is turning into a donkey because bad things happen to boys who do not obey and act lazy. Does Pinocchio think he is getting what he deserves?
What can you infer has happened to Candlewick since he is also wearing a cap on his head?
It seems as though there is no way out of this predicament now that Pinocchio has become a donkey. Predict how he might be rescued.
Based on the dictionary definition and context clues, what activities might Pinocchio have to do that are laborious?
The circus ringmaster introduces each act by exaggerating and fabricating details to get the audience excited about the performance. Can you tell which details are true, exaggerated, or completely false as he introduces Pinocchio?
Pinocchio is once again at a low point in his life. Brainstorm a list of five different words that would describe Pinocchio's mood during his life as a donkey.
Good readers make a picture in their mind of what is happening in the text. Can you see the man's face with eyes and mouth wide open as he sees a live puppet instead of a dead donkey on his rope?
Pinocchio feels ______ that the Fairy has rescued him again.
Atilla the Hun was a ruthless leader in the 5th-century who came to power by killing his brother. He attacked lands east of Rome to expand his power. This allusion lets you know the Shark is powerful, aggressive, and dangerous.
Good readers adjust the pace of their reading to match the emotion of the text. Notice how the events are listed like one long run-on sentence with no periods to slow the pace. Here Pinocchio is recounting his troubles over the last two years. As you read did you quicken your pace as Pinocchio would have increased the speed when telling his tale?
What makes a fish-bone an effective comparison for the "mainmast, that had stuck between his teeth"?
What is the author's purpose for using repetition and ellipses (...) in this sentence?
Every encounter that Pinocchio has contains a lesson on how to live a good life. Pinocchio has heard these lessons, ignored these lessons, and experienced the good and bad consequences. Think about the people in your life. Have they given you advice on how to treat others or how to be responsible? How did you respond to that advice?
Explain the change in Pinocchio regarding his attitude toward work. How would he have responded to the gardener's request before finding Geppetto? How does he respond now?
Pinocchio has made many promises such as this before. Do you believe him this time? Why?
Quiz Chapters 25-36