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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Adventures of Pipi the Pink Monkey (The)
by Carlo Collodi
Age Range: 9-11
Pipi isn't like his four brothers or the other young monkeys who live in the forest of Hullabaloo: he has bright pink fur, is cheeky and mischievous with a rebellious streak that lands him in all sorts of trouble. Pipi has a series of adventures from losing his tail to an ancient crocodile, becoming a valet to a young boy, falling into the hands of flying bandits and becoming emperor of a tribe of black and brown monkeys.
Carlo Collodi wrote this story immediately after Pinocchio and Pipi's adventures have clear similarities with his more celebrated masterpiece. Pipi and the wooden puppet share certain characteristics – both show a perchance for lying, are naughty and experience crazy adventures and often have to overcome life-threatening situations. Both stories contain some of the same characters too. The fairy with turquoise hair from Pinocchio also appears in Pipi in the disguise of a rabbit with turquoise fur. The other more difficult one to spot is ten-year-old Master Alfred, who is in fact, Pinocchio after he has turned into a boy.
This charming rediscovered gem of Italian literature is retold, expanded on and translated by Alessandro Gallenzi and beautifully illustrated by Axel Scheffler with endearing comic vignettes. Despite being a lesser known work of Collodi, Pipi contains all his trademark wit and deserves to take its place amongst the classics in its own right so that it can delight a whole new generation of children.
At the back of the book there is some useful information on the writer; the book itself, including an extract by Collodi from the issue of the Giornale per, bambini of 1885; the characters from the story; other famous fictional apes; a quiz with answers and a brief glossary of monkey language.