Translating violence in children’s picture books: A view from the former Yugoslavia

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the translation of violence in picture books through the example of Hedgehog’s Home (2011), the English translation of the classic picture book Ježeva kućica (1949) by Branko Ćopić, one of the most enduring children’s books from the former Yugoslavia. I focus specifically on the representations of direct, war-related violence in the original picture book and its translation. The analysis is multimodal and examines the text, paratext, and illustrations of each work. I also look at a musical stage adaptation. Written shortly after World War II, the picture book deals with the violent past of a threatened homeland. W hen translated and adapted, this reality is changed to fit the context of the target audience. The analysis shows that the English translation tones down the physical violence in the source text, erasing or muting most references to war and death. Simultaneously, it moves the story away from its original patriotic narrative by introducing a new narrative about the consequences of environmental violence and the need for protecting the natural habitat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren’s Literature in Translation
Subtitle of host publicationTexts and Contexts
EditorsJan Van Coillie, Jack McMartin
PublisherLeuven University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789461663207, 9789461663269
ISBN (Print)9789462702226
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameTranslation, Interpreting and Transfer


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