Henri’s Walk to Paris was written by Leonore Klein and illustrated by Saul Bass. Leonore Klein was a librarian as well as an author of children's books. Saul Bass was a graphic designer and filmmaker, and this was the only children’s book he ever illustrated. It was originally published in 1962 and reissued in 2012. It's about a little boy named Henri, who wonders what life is like in Paris. He plans a trip to Paris with a sweet and unexpected ending.
Bass’ style is a throwback to the bold, modern aesthetic of the 1960s (which is no surprise—it’s when the book was first published). I love the use of pattern and repetition, modern and sparse lines and shapes. Color plays a big role in this book. Bass uses color to contrast city and country—bright pinks, reds and oranges for Paris' lively urban setting versus serene greens, blues and browns for the tranquil countryside of Henri’s small town, Reboul.
If Saul Bass had illustrated more books, we would definitely have them all in our library. Any of the pages in this book would make amazing wallpaper!
Just catching up on posting photos here. We made these lanterns to celebrate Lunar New Year last month, inspired by this post by The Imagination Tree. They would also work as decor for a summer party or play date!
This year has gotten off to a good start for children’s literature. Home by Carson Ellis is one of the beautiful works that has been published recently. It features homes of every ilk—real, imaginary, urban, bucolic. If Ellis’ work looks familiar, you’ve probably seen it on covers for The Decemberists. The words in Home are hand-lettered and the illustrations are done in gouache and ink.
Avery was interested in living in the “cup house” because she wanted a “lot of space.” As you read this with your kids, you’ll be imagining which otherwordly abode you’d like to live in, too.