The Big Adventure of a Little Line

Serge Bloch. Thames & Hudson, $19.95 (88p) ISBN 978-0-500-65058-5
French cartoonist Bloch (I Scream, Ice Cream) writes a moving and understated memoir in the form of an allegory, illuminating it with spare pen-and-ink drawings. "I was out walking one day when I saw it," writes Bloch, drawing himself as a boy. "A little line, lying by the side of the road." The bright vermilion line, a metaphor for artistic talent, pulls itself into myriad shapes. "At first, I taught it to turn into simple things. A hat, a bike, a ball." As the boy grows into manhood, he and his line refine their skills. "Everything seemed easy," Bloch writes, as the man balances a dozen animals outlined in vermilion on his head, circus-style. "We made children smile." Fame follows the pair ("My line and I went around the world together"), and when the artist realizes that his career is nearing its end, he leaves a small piece of his line by the roadside. On the next page, a young woman picks it up; it's her turn now. Artists, Bloch implies, possess their gifts on loan, to be used to the fullest, then passed on. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 02/15/2016
Genre: Children's
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