Childhood, Power, and Travel in Salvatore Rubbino’s Picture Books: A Walk in the City

  • Patricia Kennon
Keywords: picture books, guidebooks, the city, mobility, travel writing, Rubbino, Salvatore


This article examines Salvatore Rubbino’s three travel-guide picture-book texts and the ideological management of childhood, mobility, adult-child power dynamics, and the city that they reveal. Rubbino’s books assume adults’ pedagogic and social authority, characters’ economic power (and tacitly that of readers), and an untroubled engagement with globalization, tourism, and consumption discourses. While guidebooks for children possess great potential for the promotion of child-centred discovery, literary tourism experiences for child readers, and the opportunity for young people to inhabit and explore “other” places and perspectives through literature, Rubbino’s picture books are preoccupied ultimately with an ideological regulation of children’s imaginative and physical mobility.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2016.0001

Author Biography

Patricia Kennon

Patricia Kennon is a Lecturer in children’s and young adult literature in Maynooth University in Ireland. She is vice-president of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature, a former editor-in-chief and features editor of Inis: The Children’s Books Magazine, and a former president of iBbY Ireland, the Irish national section of IBBY.

How to Cite
Kennon, P. (2016). Childhood, Power, and Travel in Salvatore Rubbino’s Picture Books: A Walk in the City. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 8(1). Retrieved from
Articles for Special Issue on Mobility