Dark Origins – The shockingly dark original story of Pinocchio

Cave background lighted with colors Text: Dark Origins - Nursery Rhymes, Fairytales and Stories Hosted by Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle

The Adventures of Pinocchio is a children’s fantasy novel by Italian author, Carlo Collodi.

The story was originally published as a serial called The Story of a Puppet in the Giornale per I bambini, one of the earliest Italian weekly magazines for children starting from 7 July 1881. Originally, the story stopped after 8 episodes (published over 4 months) at Chapter 15. Due to popular demand, the episodes were resumed on 16 February 1882 and the following year, the story was published as a single book.

The storyline

In Tuscany, Italy, a carpenter named Master Antonio finds a block of wood which he immediately plans to carve into a table leg. The log cries out when he cuts it. Master Antonio falls to the floor as a result of shock and just at that moment his extremely poor neighbour, Geppetto, knocks on the door. The piece of wood instigates an altercation between the pair, but after a minor fisticuff, Geppetto receives the log as a gift. Geppetto is delighted and carves it into a marionette with the plan of making a living as a travelling puppeteer.

Quote: “On hearing himself called Polendina for the third time, Geppetto lost his head with rage and threw himself upon the carpenter. Then and there they gave each other a sound thrashing.

After this fight, Mastro Antonio had two more scratches on his nose, and Geppetto had two buttons missing from his coat. Thus having settled their accounts, they shook hands and swore to be good friends for the rest of their lives.

Then Geppetto took the fine piece of wood, thanked Mastro Antonio, and limped away toward home.”

As soon as Geppetto sets about carving the wood it becomes obvious that the puppet, called Pinocchio, will not be of good character.

Quote: “As he was about to put the last touches on the finger tips, Geppetto felt his wig being pulled off. He glanced up and what did he see? His yellow wig was in the Marionette’s hand. “Pinocchio, give me my wig!”

But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his own head, which was half swallowed up in it.

At that unexpected trick, Geppetto became very sad and downcast, more so than he had ever been before.

“Pinocchio, you wicked boy!” he cried out. “You are not yet finished, and you start out by being impudent to your poor old father. Very bad, my son, very bad!”

And he wiped away a tear.

The legs and feet still had to be made. As soon as they were done, Geppetto felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.

“I deserve it!” he said to himself. “I should have thought of this before I made him. Now it’s too late!””

Geppetto teaches Pinocchio to walk and he immediately runs away. The ungrateful puppet is caught by a law enforcement officer who, acting on the erroneous belief that Geppetto has mistreated the puppet, arrests Geppetto and puts him in prison.

Pinocchio returns to the empty house and meets the talking cricket which warns him of the perils of disobedience. In retaliation, Pinocchio throws a hammer at the cricket and accidentally kills it.

Picture caption: Pinocchio, a wooden puppet, throws a hammer at the cricket. https://www.historydefined.net/original-pinocchio/

Having tried unsuccessfully to obtain some food, the puppet settles down to sleep on a stove. When he wakes up, his feet have been burned off. Luckily for Pinocchio, Geppetto is released from prison and returns home. He makes Pinocchio new feet. Caught up in short lived gratitude, Pinocchio agrees to attend school and Geppetto sells his only coat to buy him a schoolbook.

Pinocchio never makes it to school on that first day and his disobedience gets him into significant trouble. He narrowly escapes being used as firewood to cook a hungry puppeteer’s dinner. A fisherman coats him in flour and tries to fry him. As punishment for refusing to study, he is transformed into a donkey and thrown into the sea.

The worse of all his violent adventures is when Pinocchio is lynched from a tree by his recurring enemies, the Fox and the Cat. This is the point when Collodi ended his original Pinocchio magazine series. It was only popular demand by his readers that resulted in the Collodi reviving his puppet hero and finding a way out of this scrape for him.

Picture credit: Pinocchio hanging by his neck while the two assassins’ watch on. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-birthplace-of-pinocchio/

Quote: “Happily for him, Pinocchio was made of very hard wood and the knives broke into a thousand pieces. The Assassins looked at each other in dismay, holding the handles of the knives in their hands.

“I understand,” said one of them to the other, “there is nothing left to do now but to hang him.”

“To hang him,” repeated the other.

They tied Pinocchio’s hands behind his shoulders and slipped the noose around his neck. Throwing the rope over the high limb of a giant oak tree, they pulled till the poor Marionette hung far up in space.

Satisfied with their work, they sat on the grass waiting for Pinocchio to give his last gasp. But after three hours the Marionette’s eyes were still open, his mouth still shut and his legs kicked harder than ever.

Tired of waiting, the Assassins called to him mockingly: “Good-by till tomorrow. When we return in the morning, we hope you’ll be polite enough to let us find you dead and gone and with your mouth wide open.” With these words they went.

A few minutes went by and then a wild wind started to blow. As it shrieked and moaned, the poor little sufferer was blown to and fro like the hammer of a bell. The rocking made him seasick and the noose, becoming tighter and tighter, choked him. Little by little a film covered his eyes.

Death was creeping nearer and nearer, and the Marionette still hoped for some good soul to come to his rescue, but no one appeared. As he was about to die, he thought of his poor old father, and hardly conscious of what he was saying, murmured to himself:

“Oh, Father, dear Father! If you were only here!”

These were his last words. He closed his eyes, opened his mouth, stretched out his legs, and hung there, as if he were dead.”

After this, Pinocchio’s story then continues its series of bleak set-pieces until finally our hero learns not to run away from his responsibilities. He begins to study hard and becomes a ‘good little kid’ and, at last, a real boy.

The dark origin of Pinocchio

It is clear from the narrative above the Pinocchio is a very dark story filled with violence, hunger, and illness. To understand how this story came about, the childhood of the author needs to be considered. According to https://metro.co.uk/, the house where Carlo Collodi was born in Florence in 1826, was on a long, narrow residential street which did not allow for any natural sunlight. He was the oldest of ten children and, to ease the burden on his parents, was sent away to live in a village with his mother’s family for much of his childhood.  

While he was away, his family suffered a series of tragedies. Six of his nine siblings died before reaching adulthood. Some passed away as babies, while others lived long enough to become established parts of the family only to die later into childhood. The bleaker aspects of ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ are informed by the lasting impact of this pain on the author. 


The themes of hunger, illness, and death are prevalent throughout the story.


“Are you not afraid of death?’

I am not in the least afraid!… I would rather die than drink that bitter medicine.’

At that moment the door of the room flew open, and four rabbits as black as ink entered carrying on their shoulders a little bier.

What do you want with me?’ cried Pinocchio, sitting up in bed in a great fright.

We are come to take you,’ said the biggest rabbit.

To take me?… But I am not yet dead!…’

No, not yet: but you have only a few minutes to live, as you have refused the medicine that would have cured you of the fever.’

Oh, Fairy, Fairy!’ the puppet then began to scream, ‘give me the tumbler at once… be quick, for pity’s sake, for I will not die–no… I will not die….”


“That puppet there,’ continued the Talking-cricket, ‘is a confirmed rogue. …’ Pinocchio opened his eyes, but shut them again immediately. ‘He is a ragamuffin, a do-nothing, a vagabond. …. Pinocchio hid his face beneath the clothes. ‘That puppet there is a disobedient son who will make his poor father die of a broken heart! …’ At that instant a suffocated sound of sobs and crying was heard in the room. Imagine everybody’s astonishment when, having raised the sheets a little, it was discovered that the sounds came from Pinocchio. ‘When the dead person cries, it is a sign that he is on the road to get well,’ said the Crow solemnly. ‘I grieve to contradict my illustrious friend and colleague,’ added the Owl, ‘but for me, when the dead person cries, it is a sign that he is sorry to die.”


“A boy’s appetite grows very fast, and in a few moments the queer, empty feeling had become hunger, and the hunger grew bigger and bigger, until soon he was as ravenous as a bear.

Poor Pinocchio ran to the fireplace where the pot was boiling and stretched out his hand to take the cover off, but to his amazement the pot was only painted! Think how he felt! His long nose became at least two inches longer.

He ran about the room, dug in all the boxes and drawers, and even looked under the bed in search of a piece of bread, hard though it might be, or a cookie, or perhaps a bit of fish. A bone left by a dog would have tasted good to him! But he found nothing.

And meanwhile his hunger grew and grew.”

Moral of the story

The moral of the story is that hard work, being good, and studying hard are the keys to success and it is only when Pinocchio devotes himself to the achievement of these three things that he transforms from a wooden puppet to a real boy with modern comforts. However, the author never lets the reader forget that disaster is always waiting to happen.


“I was just saying,” whined the Marionette in a whisper, “that it seems too late for me to go to school now.”

“No, indeed. Remember it is never too late to learn.”

“But I don’t want either trade or profession.”


“Because work wearies me!”

“My dear boy,” said the Fairy, “people who speak as you do usually end their days either in a prison or in a hospital. A man, remember, whether rich or poor, should do something in this world. No one can find happiness without work. Woe betide the lazy fellow! Laziness is a serious illness and one must cure it immediately; yes, even from early childhood. If not, it will kill you in the end.”

These words touched Pinocchio’s heart. He lifted his eyes to his Fairy and said seriously: “I’ll work; I’ll study; I’ll do all you tell me. After all, the life of a Marionette has grown very tiresome to me and I want to become a boy, no matter how hard it is. You promise that, do you not?”

“Yes, I promise, and now it is up to you.”


“Poor Pinocchio huddled close to the doghouse more dead than alive from cold, hunger, and fright. Now and again he pulled and tugged at the collar which nearly choked him and cried out in a weak voice:

“I deserve it! Yes, I deserve it! I have been nothing but a truant and a vagabond. I have never obeyed anyone and I have always done as I pleased. If I were only like so many others and had studied and worked and stayed with my poor old father, I should not find myself here now, in this field and in the darkness, taking the place of a farmer’s watchdog. Oh, if I could start all over again! But what is done can’t be undone, and I must be patient!””

If you would like to read the original The Adventures of Pinocchio, you can find it for free on Gutenberg here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/500/500-h/500-h.htm

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has two published novels and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories included in several anthologies. She is also a contributor to the Ask the Authors 2022 (WordCrafter Writing Reference series).

Roberta also has thirteen children’s books and two poetry books published under the name of Robbie Cheadle, and has poems and short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

Roberta’s blog features discussions about classic books, book reviews, poetry, and photography. https://roberta-writes.com/.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5


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Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet and blogger, Luanne Castle, and a review #poetry #poetrycommunity #bookreview

A lake with a hill behind it Text: Treasuring Poetry 2023 Hosted by Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle

Today, I am thrilled to introduce poet and blogger, Luanne Castle, as my May Treasuring Poetry Guest. Luanne has written four poetry books and had her work included in some anthologies too. I have read two of her four books and found her poetry to be unique and fascinating.

Welcome Luanne!

Why do you write poetry?

My connection to poetry feels as if it’s deeper than thought and precedes story. Until I was eight years old, I was an only child and spent time entertaining myself. Even before I could read, I listened to records of nursery rhymes and folk songs repeatedly, loving the rhythms and the magical way the words sounded. I started writing poetry when I was a child as it seemed a natural form of expression to me, possibly because of this nursery rhyme background. I still feel this same connection to poetry that I did as a child.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why? 

Poetry is very relevant because it can perform much of the same communication that prose does, but more besides! The music and delight in words found in poetry are memorable, even mnemonic. Poetry also tends to express on many levels, leaving gaps (ambiguity) where readers and listeners supply responses, emotions, and thoughts, thus making poetry the most active and interactive form. We need this activity as a guard against the increasing passivity of our culture.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read, do you relate to the most and why?

This is such a difficult question. In April I posted a favorite poem a day on Instagram, but being a favorite doesn’t mean the same thing as relating. Today’s choice for a poem I can really relate to is by Jane Kenyon. The beauty of the natural world, the shift of mood, and the comfort at the end are all very appealing to me.

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving   

up the bales as the sun moves down.


Let the cricket take up chafing   

as a woman takes up her needles   

and her yarn. Let evening come.


Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.


Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   

Let the wind die down. Let the shed   

go black inside. Let evening come.


To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   

in the oats, to air in the lung   

let evening come.


Let it come, as it will, and don’t   

be afraid. God does not leave us   

comfortless, so let evening come.

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I have a few favorites from each book, but today’s favorite is this one from Rooted and Winged about my maternal grandfather. He and my grandmother (a big part of my roots) show in several poems throughout the collection. This one is a prose poem and although the majority of poems I write are lyrical, I do enjoy prose poems for the mix of storytelling and poetic language and imagery.

How to Create a Family Myth

My grandfather built a city with his tongue. Houses and little shops, celery fields and sand lots all connected to each other without roads or sidewalks. Once or twice he showed me a map of sewer lines running like Arcadia Creek underneath the cobblestones and packed dirt. We stood outside and found tall buildings in the clouds overhead. His hands gestured how his grandfather placed the bricks and taught his men to shape upwards, each building higher than the one before. Out there on the stoop, he pointed out where his mother, the one he said I looked like, had witnessed a man beating his horse. I saw her calico skirt billow out behind her, her hands wiping across her apron stomach even as she ran. When she reached the man, she snatched the whip from his hand, his surprise at her actions slowing him, rendering him stupid. When she cracked the whip down on his back time did not go on for her as it did for the rest of the world. Not until a week later, when she went to the market, did she realize that the story ran, too. It kept running until it reached all of us, each child and grandchild and great grandchild taking just what is needed from the tale. In my case, I plucked a heart from the clouds and tucked it safely inside a brick house in the city where it keeps the city alive to this day.

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

I do edit and revise my poetry, but I can more quickly get to a finished poem than I used to be able to do. Practice really does improve speed. However, sometimes the fullest meaning doesn’t emerge for weeks after a poem is “finished,” so the best scenario is to put poem aside and look at it again later. As far as prose goes, I find prose fairly easy to write. Where I feel I would be out of my element would be in writing a novel. The plot intricacies and overall structure would drive me mad.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

Ah, that is such a good question. I think my blog is very effective for sharing poetry. I love interacting with blog readers and other bloggers about poetry. My books, of course, present a cohesive project to readers. I have a podcast hosted by Rebecca Budd coming up but have not done too much in that area to date. And I haven’t worked with YouTube yet other than some readings I have done have been posted by others. I would love to work more with YouTube and an audio format like Soundcloud in the future.

My review of Rooted and Winged by Luanne Castle

This is the second book of poetry and flash fiction by Luanne Castle I’ve read and I really like her style of writing.

Each piece is a reflection on a specific aspect of life and depicts the author’s thoughts and ideas about that particular aspect. It felt like a poetic journal of experiences and interpretations which I really appreciated. The poems are all freestyle and are written as a stream of consciousness without the restrictions imposed by strict sentence formation and punctuation. It flows well and suits the theme of the poetry.

An example of the thoughts and ideas expressed is this stanza from Gravity:
“Why are we only of the earth, Grandpa?
See your knees sunken in muck,
the sun sketching very plane of you.”

The imagery is rich and descriptive. An example of the language is as follows (extracted from Finding the House on Trimble Street):
“The house, once white and raw, has matured into gold. Ripened maples in October red temptingly frame the remembrance. The garage neatly unfolds from the side, the lawn edged in definition.”

My favourite piece is a slightly longer one entitled Today and Today and Today. It is about caregivers and is very poignant. The writer’s observations are so genuine and relatable.
“… She either ignores you or says mean things or praises you endlessly. Each response makes you sad.”

“He can wear only that one sweater. The others are too thin, too thick, too warm, too prickly, or pull over the head.”

Having recently had the experience of a close family member in intensive care in hospital for a period, completely dependent on the nurses who provide the medication and care, I felt as if this description had been pulled from my heart and mind:

“But you feel she knows you are at her side, joking with the staff, making sure that aides and nurses alike care for her as they would their mothers because her submissive form has been brushed with the glow of your personality.”

An extraordinary book of insightful poetry and prose.

Purchase Rooted and Winged: https://www.amazon.com/Rooted-Winged-Luanne-Castle/dp/1646628632

My review of Our Wolves by Luanne Castle

This book is an original and unique collection of poems that expose the wolves that appear in the lives of females during their formative years and through to maturity. The poet has linked many, but not all, of her poetic thoughts and interpretations of human predators to the wolf in the famous story Little Red Riding Hood or Le Petit Chaperon Rouge in the original French (which I have listed to with an English interpretation in my hand).

An example of this connection to the wolf is this extract from Our Old Wolves:

“But you will know how frightened they are
of the dark, shadowed forest and the abstruse mind.
Of human-like wolves concealed behind spruce and fir,
their shadows stretching out tentacles to grasp them
as they tremble past on their way to the locked river.”

Some of the poems turn the readers traditional idea of the hero and the predator on its head and force consideration of how misleading looks, perceptions of beauty and strength, and inbred prejudices can be. It highlights how frequently girls and young women walk right into trouble because of the messages drummed into them by their mothers and society. Women are not taught to accurately identify predators or ‘the wolf’.

Thanks for meeting me for coffee is a good example of this concept:

“I searched for the beginning
of your story and discovered you
were lost when you believed him.
All gone, One a milk carton missing.”

The poems in the book are mainly written in freestyle poetry and are filled with subtle meanings and innuendoes for the reader to consider. This book must be read with an alert and fresh mind in order to appreciate its full meaning and intrigue.

For me, the summary of the meaning and power of this book is set out in the following words from Your Sonnet:

“My mother taught me to be kind, to be helpful,
not to ignore the slow or less than able, the ones
who are different, the needy so I asked what
he needed from me and he misunderstood.
My story is not so very different from yours
and yours and yours and yours and yours.”

If you like interesting and thought provoking poetry, you will love Our Wolves.

Purchase Our Wolves: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Wolves-Luanne-Castle/dp/B0BTKNP31D

About Luanne Castle

Luanne Castle lives in Arizona, next to a wash that wildlife use as a thoroughfare. She has published two full-length poetry collections, Rooted and Winged (Finishing Line 2022), a Book Excellence Award Winner, and Doll God (Kelsay 2015), which won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Poetry. Her chapbooks are Our Wolves (Alien Buddha 2023) and Kin Types (Finishing Line 2017), a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Luanne’s Pushcart and Best of the Net-nominated poetry and prose have appeared in Copper Nickel, American Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, River Teeth, TAB, Verse Daily, Saranac Review, and other journals.

Find Luanne Castle

Blog: https://writersite.org/

Website: https://www.luannecastle.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writersitetweet

Luanne Castle Amazon Author Page

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Treasuring Poetry – Meet multi-genre author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, and a review #Poetry #writingcommunity #bookreview

Today, I am delighted to welcome author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, as my March Treasuring Poetry guest.

Why do you write poetry?

To me, writing poetry is like being a flâneuse of the literary world.

The history and meaning of flâneuse (with its masculine form, flâneur) derive from the turn of the century, late 19th to early 20th. It defines those men and women who had the time, the inclination, the passion (and the finances, back then) to wonder along the streets of a big city and to observe and be a part of the daily city life. Those who enjoyed taking in the city.

It was after this past holiday, when my family and I covered about 200km on the streets of Romania, in Bucharest and Sibiu, that I learned this expression, flâneuse.

Writing poetry is my reaction to being a flâneuse in a city of words. Writing poetry is like strolling among literary creations, classical or modern (buildings made of words if you wish) and taking in their beauty and rhythm. A turn of the word here, a phrase there, they blend with the breeze, the song of bird, or the memories of my youth (like dappled shadows) – creating poetry.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why?

Absolutely. Poetry permanently sheds a light on the world; it helps us see our everyday life through a different perspective. It adds colour to a world monotonous in its everyday violence. It also highlights, thus helping us remember, the forgotten beauty of life.

Poetry also creates bridges that unite us, past distances (and I mean social distances) or any other barriers. Poetry is that one constant in times of change. Because poetry helps us understand our emotions and communicate them. It helps us make sense of an uncertain future or of a tumultuous past. Poetry translates, by use of imagery that what – at first – is hard to comprehend and it appears scrambled.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read, do you relate to the most and why?

So many times I asked myself this question and the answer varied, but more often it was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” the poem I most relate with.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Life, the simple act of living and of leading a happy and fulfilled family life, are such a tremendous gift – but we tend to take it for granted. I think that contemplating the road that brought us here, as well as the ones followed by our ancestors, is a valuable exercise.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about the choices and the opportunities we encounter in life. But unlike Frost’s poem, I believe that it isn’t the regret over the roads not taken that should overshadow our future, but the excitement for further choices, born out of our past decisions. Life is a continuous maze, and a beautiful and exciting one.

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I enjoyed following the antics of the puppies depicted in my poetry book “as Good as Gold”. There were times when I would write and laugh. When I grew up in Romania we would live in an apartment so we shared some pretty close living quarters with our dog. Whoever looked after a puppy will remember that, at the beginning, they hardly sleep through the night.

While writing “As Good as Gold” I enjoyed mentally watching a puppy conversing with the moon, or meeting an owl (during night-time, of course) for the very first time. Writing from experience… Today I look fondly on those memories. Thus, my favourite poem is “Why, Rain?”  where we follow a puppy on his first encounter with a surprise storm during what starts like a perfect summer day, just right for some nature exploration.

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

I enjoy writing poetry for its free form and lack of constraints. Poetry allows my thoughts to roam unrestrained. For me, writing poetry is like finding shapes in the clouds – they can be anything and I won’t be wrong in writing them as such. The reader, in turn, can interpret them the way she sees them and none will be wrong for taking that what her / his heart chose to see.

Writing prose asks for much more structure, although I enjoy it just as much. Writing prose is like building a house.

Poetry is like writing a song. Sometimes you hum it for a long time before you get the melody out on paper just the way you heard it in your mind. Prose is more like writing a symphony. Just as rewarding, perhaps more demanding. Prose will confer a whole set of ideas, where poetry will distil the thought to a perfect, silky thread.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

As an independent author with self-published poetry books as well as poems published in various poetry anthologies I find that, today, readers show a fear of commitment towards poetry. I discovered that publishing my poems on my blog or into an online literary magazine I can reach a wider audience than publishing a poetry book.

My review of As Good as Gold, A dog’s life in poems by Patricia Furstenberg

As Good as Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems is a delightful and uplifting collection of poems about domestic dogs and puppies. Each poem is accompanied by a lovely photograph of the dog through whose eyes the poems is written. I liked that the poems were told from the perspective of the dogs and I thought the freestyle form of poetry suited this book well as each poem is a mini story or adventure.

The writing style is conversational and relaxed. The following few extracts give a feel for the style of the poetry:

“Puppy tiptoes,
Takes a peek.
Sniffs carefully …
What IS that squeak?”

“It’s oval, it bounces, it floats away,
It’s pink like his tongue, it wants to play!
“I’m coming!” barks pup and off he goes.
Down the hill the pink shape flows
And puppy follows suit. It’s just within his reach,”

For cat lovers, there are also a few poems told from the perspective of our feline friends and I loved those especially, as I am a cat owner.

I think this book is a lovely way of teaching children about animals as pets and the writing is appropriate for both children and adults, all of whom will adore the antics and curiosity displayed by the dogs, especially the puppies.

Purchase links

Amazon US

Patricia Furstenberg’s Amazon Author page

About Patricia Furstenberg

Writer and poet Patricia Furstenberg authored 18 books to date. Patricia grew up in Bucharest and was brought up listening to the legends and folktales of Romania’s past. She came to writing through reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. Her writing career followed a sinuous road that passed through a Medical Degree, practicing medicine, extensive traveling, and it also produced a happy marriage and two children. The recurrent motives in her writing are unconditional love and war, while Patricia’s keen interest for history and dogs brought her writing, through a perfect loop, to her native Romania. Today Patricia writes fiction and poetry. Her poems were published in anthologies by Green Ink Poetry, The Poem Magazine, and Lothlórien Poetry Journal as well as in over thirty online literary journals

Find Patricia Furstenberg

Author Website 

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn / Goodreads / Book Bub / AllAuthor

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Growing bookworms – Interactive books for children Part 1

Interactive books for children are those books that allow for active participation from, and interaction by, the child as part of the reading process. There are two categories of interactive books for children: those that incorporate modern technology and provide for digital participation by children, and those that are not digital.

Today, I’m going to chat about the non-digital interactive books for children. There are a myriad of non-digital interactive books for children, aimed at a variety of different age groups.

Touch and feel books are aimed at very young children. They are wonderful for helping children to associate their sense of touch with a word or words. For example, a picture of a duck could include soft, fluffy feathers and a picture of a tree could have rough bark. Most touch and feel books are very simple and only teach one word at a time. I had a few books like this for my sons when they were babies and very young toddlers and they loved them.

Interactive books for older toddlers and pre-school children include pull-tabs, flaps, pull-downs, and pop-up books. Pop up books work by literally popping up a 3-D picture when the child turns the page. These were hugely successful with my boys but I did have to teach them not to pull on the pop-ups and break them. I also had to teach them not to pull tabs, flaps, and pull-downs too hard, but they learned quickly and my instruction ensured they treated their physical books with respect.

This is a link to a pop-up Alice in Wonderland book on Amazon US. It’s not the same as the one I had for my sons but it looks equally fun: https://www.amazon.com/Alices-Adventures-Wonderland-Pop-up-Adaptation/dp/0689847432

Colouring books speak for themselves and allow children to colour in the pictures that relate to the stories. There are also sticker books that allow the child to dress the characters.

Usborne has an amazing selection of sticker books. You can find out more about them here: Amazon US Usborne sticker books

Hidden object books are those that hide various objects within pictures for the child to discover. These books are available for a variety of age groups, and my boys loved the Where’s Wally books.

This is the blurb of the Where’s Wally Amazing Adventures and Activities 8 Books Bag Collection Set: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Activities-Collection-Fntastic-Hollywood/dp/9123888113

Where’s Wally?:
The original book which kick-started the worldwide Wally phenomenon! Search for Wally and his friends as they hike round the world.

Where’s Wally Now?:
Wally and his friends travel through time in this second best-selling classic adventure. Search for them as they visit the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt, the Vikings …

The Fantastic Journey:
Hidden in every intricately-detailed scene are Wally and his friends – so let the hunt begin! Search for them in the land of the unfriendly giants, the watery world of the deep-sea divers.

Where’s Wally? In Hollywood:
Wally visits the land where dreams are made in this classic activity book! He meets directors and actors, walks through the crowds of extras, and sees behind the scenes.

Where’s Wally? In Outer Space:
Play tangle line teasers, find your way out of a space race maze, unscramble muddled up words, crack alien codes, match and spot the differences in busy picture puzzles.

Where’s Wally? At Sea:
Untangle fishing lines; solve a boat race riddle; match seaside silhouettes; track down pirate treasure on a map; join up words in a message in a bottle.

Where’s Wally? Across Lands:
Scale castle walls and ancient Aztec temples as you complete games, crack written riddles, get creative by drawing your own Egyptian city and doodling inside speech bubbles.

Where’s Wally? Takes Flight:
Work your way out of a busy airport runway maze; match up dragons to their race day medals; solve birdy word searches and visual snap; colour in a nighttime dragon scene.

My sons both spent hours pawing through these books.

The last type of interactive book I’m mentioning in this post are game books. These are middle school children’s books where each section ends with a decision. The child makes a choice and is directed to the next section on a specific page. I managed to obtain a big pile of the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a girl, and I absolutely loved them.

This is the link to the Choose Your Own Adventure series on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Alices-Adventures-Wonderland-Pop-up-Adaptation/dp/0689847432

What Amazon says: Widely commended for its appeal to reluctant readers, Choose Your Own Adventure is the 4th bestselling book series for children of all time. Written in the second-person, the reader is the hero of the story, and at the bottom of each page, there is a decision point: If you go in search of the yeti, turn to page 11. If you think it is safest to stay put and call for help, turn to page 25. By reading and choosing, kids become more engaged, making the Choose Your Own Adventure series a stealth reading program for reluctant readers.

About Robbie Cheadle


Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with ten children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to https://writingtoberead.com, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to https://writingtoberead.com called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books


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