Henri’s Walk to Paris, by Leonore Klein and Saul Bass

I’m going to start by saying that I kind of want to rip out each page of Henri’s Walk to Paris and frame them all on my wall. The illustrations are by noted graphic designer Saul Bass, who created title sequences and posters for movies like North by Northwest, Vertigo, and West Side Story. This was his one and only children’s book, published in 1962, and the illustrations are so rich and hip I almost can’t stand it. His modern visual style translates perfectly into this distinctive book.

Henri's Walk to Paris- Amelie's Bookshelf

This is a simple story of a young boy named Henri who lives in a tiny town in France called Reboul. He dreams of going to Paris, believing it to be so much bigger and intrinsically better than his village. He finally decides to walk there, but when he stops to take a rest, he gets turned around and unknowingly heads back to Reboul, only to be surprised that “Paris” is so much like his hometown.

Henri's Walk to Paris- Amelie's Bookshelf

I was pleasantly surprised that my five year old son was so into this book, I was afraid it would be one of those super stylish books that I adore that he would skip past on the shelf. Not so, he loves the pictures and the story, is happy for Henri when he ventures out, and worries for him when he accidentally turns back.

Henri's Walk to Paris- Amelie's Bookshelf

Are there any books whose illustrations you’d love to frame?

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12 thoughts on “Henri’s Walk to Paris, by Leonore Klein and Saul Bass

  1. This is lovely book, thank you for introducing to me! As for me, if I had my way, my house would be wallpapered in book illustrations (mostly vintage). One reason I enjoy blogging so much is the sharing/discovering of wonderful book illustrators.

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  2. Hi Hi Hi!!!!!! I’m really so so pleased that you came and said hello and that you’ve given me the opportunity and extreme delight in finding your bloggy! I’ll have to get your whole story at some point, how you came to be in Hawaii, etc. Thrilled to meet you! We’re going to have so many things to talk about….:)

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  3. Love this book…though it makes me want to give up working, because I can’t imagine having a vision this clear. It’s a wonderful book. It definitely falls into ‘not a kids book’ kids book territory for me. And sometimes I don’t know how I feel about that…Have you seen Monday by Anne Herbauts? One of my favorites. But am getting a bit pickier about when a picture books works because I’m reading to a 6 year old several times a day.

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  4. I totally get it about the “not a kids book” thing. I was surprised my son enjoyed it- probably not as much as I do though. I’ve not heard of Monday- I’ll check it out- thanks!

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