Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (Everyman's Library CHILDREN'S CLASSICS)
Everyone knows Pinocchio, the walking, talking wooden puppet carved from a table leg. Pinocchio, an endearing scamp, is always getting himself into trouble. But it isn't the sort of trouble most kids get into.
Skiving off school, he is kidnapped by a puppeteer, robbed by a Cat and Fox, and persuaded to visit an earthly paradise where naughty children have perpetual fun - and turn into donkeys. Sold to a circus, then to a man who tries to drown him for his donkey-skin, he miraculously turns back into a puppet and goes in search of his 'father' (whom he must rescue from the belly of a giant dogfish ...). Throughout these manic adventures he is haunted by the ghost of a Talking Cricket he has crushed to death for giving good advice, and watched over by his personal guardian fairy.
All the while, Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real boy. Told with wit and humour, his story is also a moral fable about making the right choices, and what it is to be a loving human being. Pinocchio is an astonishing work of fantasy which has been toned down and sentimentalized over the years, not least by the Walt Disney film.
Everyman returns to a beautifully illustrated early translation of 1916 which captures the vivid inventiveness of Collodi's original.