The Adventures of Pinocchio is a story about an animated puppet, boys who turn into donkeys and other fairy tale devices. The setting of the story is the Tuscan area of Italy. It was a unique literary melding of genres for its time. The story’s Italian language is peppered with Florentine dialect features, such as the protagonist’s Florentine name. In the 1850s, Collodi began to have a variety of both fiction and nonfiction books published. Once, he translated some French fairy-tales so well that he was asked whether he would like to write some of his own.
In 1881, he sent a short episode in the life of a wooden puppet to a friend who edited a newspaper in Rome, wondering whether the editor would be interested in publishing this «bit of foolishness» in his children’s section. The editor did, and the children loved it. The Adventures of Pinocchio were serialized in the paper in 1881–1882, and then published in 1883 with huge success.
Children’s literature was a new idea in Collodi’s time, an innovation in the 19th century. Thus in content and style it was new and modern, opening the way to many writers of the following century.