Serge Bloch (born 1956)

La grande histoire d’un petit trait

(The big adventure of a little line)


Paris: Ed. Sarbacane, 2014

[44] fol., line drawing, mixed media

26 x 23 cm, cardboard hardcover, cellophane dustjacket


English edition: The Big Adventure of a Little Line,

London: Thames & Hudson, 2015

Every child born in 2015 in the Department of Val de Marne received the book as a gift from the department.
The book and its history

This is a story about drawing. A little boy finds a piece of red thread and adds it to his treasures until, one day, he pulls it out. In his sketchbook, the thread becomes a line that grows longer and forms small figures. The fun can begin! As the little boy gets older, the red line takes on all sorts of meanings, reflects moods and emotions, tells little stories, combines portraits of great artists of the 20th century, accompanies the adult artist through life, through cities, and across the sea until finally the time seems to have come to release a new piece of thread into the world so that the drawing process can begin anew.


Serge Bloch gives his drawn narrative lots of free space. In the beginning, there is one drawing on each page. but with the complexity of the ideas the line and "story" run across the double page. Large empty spaces imply thinking spaces; the line describes little that is representational, it rather points to the immaterial.


Towards the end of the book, the narrator bids farewell to his line with large, colourful areas, followed by a few simple line drawings. They lead directly back to the beginning of the story and to the simplicity of the line and to the simplcity of the line.


The book is an invitation to doodle and draw - for children and adults, according to the motto  of Paul Klee: "Not a day without a line".

Biographical note

Serge Bloch, born 1956 in Colmar, France, lives as an illustrator in New York and Paris. After his training at the École Supéreure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg, he worked as an illustrator for children's books and as art director at the French publishing house Bayard Jeunesse. He has also achieved international fame with advertising graphics for major brand manufacturers and illustrations for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Libération, and the SZ-Magazin. In 2005 he was awarded the gold medal of the Society of Illustrators, and in 2016 the Biennale d'Illustration in Lisbon dedicated an extensive solo exhibition to him.


Official Website


picturebook maker (Blogartikel über Serge Bloch)

Back to Collection