My reading progress has felt a bit stagnant this month, so I decided to pick up a quick middle-grade I knew I’d fly through.
Wooden Bones by Scott William Carter
My Edition: Paperback – 148 pages – 2012 – Simon & Schuster – ISBN: 9781442427525
The story takes place after Pinocchio – now called Pino – becomes a real boy. As he learns woodworking from his father, Pino realizes he has a special power that allows him to bring wood to life. But his talent causes an uproar in the town and Pino and his father are forced to flee. As Pino and Gepetto struggle to find safety, Pino uses his powers more often and soon discovers his magic is causing him to turn back into wood!
I’ve never been a big fan of Pinocchio, but I like the idea of asking “what happens after?” when it comes to fairy tales.
First, let me say, every time I read Pino’s name I thought of wine. Grigio for me, please!
Anyway. I expected a darker tale. Not that this is lighthearted necessarily. Pino’s talents seem to bring him and Gepetto nothing but trouble, as everyone who learns about Pino’s power goes insane with wanting him to create a puppet of a dead loved one and bring it to life. Naturally, Pino’s powers aren’t that straight forward and each time he uses them, not only does it bring trouble, but it begins to transform him back into a puppet. Yet, I found myself wanting just a bit more…grimness…you know?
The plot points are incredibly repetitive too. Each new situation is essentially the same: They meet people, Pino’s power is discovered, he uses it to try to help, things get worse, they run for their lives. There was a moment where I thought maybe the story would divert from that, but I was disappointed to find that character going insane over the puppet she wanted too.
In all, the story didn’t really grab me. It does have some nice messages suited for younger readers. The back of the book recommends ages 8-12 and I think that’s pretty spot on. This one was a bit too simplistic for me, but it’s a good start for readers ready to tackle a slim chapter book. I’ll be passing this one on to another home.