We just got back from Italy, and I realized there is a wonderful book that is often missing from American book lists. Pinocchio!!

The true, unabridged version of The Adventures of Pinocchio is an amazing story, and the original shares some qualities with epic poems (Gilgamesh, The Odyssey). It has 36 chapters, and is significantly darker than abridged Disney-fied versions (it is not darker than Harry Potter).

The copy we bought is unabridged by Carlo Collodi, and illustrated beautifully by Roberto Innocenti, a Florentine-based illustrator. It is a larger book since it is heavily illustrated, but I think they really add to the story. My DD has probably already read it 5 times since we bought it, and it seems to be replacing Charlotte's Web as her current favorite! (She's the type of child who reads the same book many, many, many times. Pretty much until it's memorized and then when she's bored she'll just start reciting it from memory to keep herself occupied. Makes for interesting dinner entertainment when we're out at a restaurant!)