Library Intern Book Reviews

Review of <i>Pippo the Fool</i> by Tracey E. Fern

Review of Pippo the Fool by Tracey E. Fern




Watertown, Massachusetts, United States of America

Date of Publication




Date of Review



Library and Information Science | Modern Literature


Children's literature, reviews


The city of Florence held a contest for a dome to be built for the cathedral. This had posed a problem to architects for many years because they did not know how to build a dome that could be supported and yet would not take away from the magnificent beauty and glory of the cathedral. Pippo was determined to be the one to figure out the puzzle. He was mocked and called a fool because he had great talent as a goldsmith but “wasted” his time by building inventions that people thought were useless. Pippo was especially mocked by Lorenzo, the most famous sculptor in Florence. On the day of the contest, the judges were not convinced by Pippo’s idea so he built a model showing how it would work. They then chose Pippo’s model for the cathedral’s dome but put Lorenzo in charge. Pippo was furious but worked hard on the dome while Lorenzo took all of the credit. When Pippo became ill, Lorenzo did not know how to carry on the project and was seen for the charlatan he was and Pippo received proper honor.

This story was based on a true story and so has historical value. Since it has historical value, it could be used by teachers to introduce children to aspects of life in fifteenth century Italy. The story could also be used to teach children to persevere and that hard work is rewarded. This story was longer and had more text than other children’s stories and so could lose their attention especially since architecture in fifteenth century Italy is not a topic that usually interests children. Despite this drawback, the story is useful in presenting a part of history to children and Pippo was a character to which children can relate. The message that hard work and perseverance are rewarded was also very clear. Optional Purchase. Amanda Snyder. Centennial Library Intern.


Review of <i>Pippo the Fool</i> by Tracey E. Fern

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