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Literature / Punchinello

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The Punchinello books is a series of Christian children's books written by Max Lucado. It includes the books You Are Special, One of a Kind, If Only I Had a Green Nose, and Punchinello and the Greatest Gift. The first book has been adapted into a play and a CGI short film.

Punchinello is the protagonist, one of many wooden puppet-like people called Wemmicks. They live in a village where Wemmicks go about their lives like any other person, but are often judged and awarded for their appearance and aptitude. Talented and/or beautiful Wemmicks receive gold stars to stick on their bodies, while ugly and inept Wemmicks receive gray dot stickers. Punchinello is often deemed the ugliest and least talented of the Wemmicks, thus his body is covered in gray dots. One day he meets a Wemmick named Lucia, with no stickers anywhere on her body and little care for what others think of her. She tells him the source of her confidence is the carpenter Eli who lives on the hill overlooking their village, the only human seen in the story and the creator of the Wemmicks. Through visits to him amidst several occurrences in the town, Punchinello learns some lessons on self-esteem.


These books provide examples of:

  • The Dreaded: In the animated film, the other Wemmicks think of Eli as some kind of ghoul that lives on the hill and eats curious Wemmicks.
  • God: Eli, obviously. And he's a carpenter just like Jesus.
  • Magic Feather: The stickers turn out to work this way; they only stay on if their wearer think they're sticky.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Wemmick romance and marriage isn't a foreign concept, even if they are wooden puppets. However, Punchinello and Lucia remain just friends during the course of the series.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The title of the first book is You Are Special, after all.


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