Children's classics and translation

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksContributions to collected editions/anthologiesResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores classics in the context of children’s literature, focusing on the historical development and complexities of translating and adapting classics for children. Children’s literature emerged in north-western Europe during the 18th century and has since become a prominent segment in literary markets worldwide. It is characterised by asymmetry, as adults produce and select literature for children, shaping it according to their perceptions of childhood and cultural and educational norms.

It discusses the concept of “children’s classics”, which spans a spectrum from scholarly editions to popular, famous stories and includes adaptations of adult classics made accessible to young readers. The historical overview traces the development of children’s literature from such early adaptations of adult works to the emergence of international classics written specifically for children such as Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Harry Potter.

The chapter examines the connection between translation, adaptation, and canonisation and emphasises the dynamic nature of children’s classics, evolving through adaptation and transmedia storytelling. It highlights the ongoing importance of translations and adaptations in preserving and promoting cultural heritage while making classical works accessible to new generations of readers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslation and the Classic
EditorsPaul F. Bandia, James Hadley, Siobhán McElduff
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date08.02.2024
Article number4
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-9204-0, 978-1-032-67072-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-032-65854-4
Publication statusPublished - 08.02.2024