Vol. 25 No. 2 (2022): Anno XXV, 2-2022

About Antonio Rubino’s Viperetta: coming-of-age novel and “imagining machine”

Susanna Barsotti
Associata di Storia della pedagogia – Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Published 2022-12-31


  • Antonio Rubino,
  • picture book,
  • educational journey,
  • children’s literature,
  • little girls

How to Cite

Barsotti, S. (2022). About Antonio Rubino’s Viperetta: coming-of-age novel and “imagining machine”. Studi Sulla Formazione/Open Journal of Education, 25(2), 99–111. https://doi.org/10.36253/ssf-13962


Antonio Rubino’s novel Viperetta (1919) is the mature work of an author already known in the context of children’s literature mainly for his activity as an illustrator for some covers of “Il giornalino della Domenica” and drawings for Andersen’s fairy tales and as a contributor to the “Corriere dei Piccoli”. In this context, Viperetta
immediately presents itself as an editorial object of particular cultural-historical interest, both because of the specific relationship that Rubino establishes between the textual part and the body of the images, and because it is presented as a coming-ofage novel, with a female protagonist, which, fitting into the tradition of the marvelous journey to the moon, takes on the contours of a rite of passage, turning the protagonist into a fairy-tale child. The article purports to emphasize these aspects, trying to show how Viperetta bases on these two elements the distinctive features of its originality and narrative power, still alive after more than a hundred years.


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