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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Big Adventure of a Little Line (The)
by Serge Bloch
Age Range: 6-8
While taking a walk one day, a small boy, (the narrator), discovers a little line lying on the ground. He picks it up, puts it in his pocket and takes it home with him. Then he forgets about it, but the little line has other ideas. He comes to life and soon he and the boy are inseparable. The line is always protective and often helps him deal with difficult situations. Sometimes the line is fun to be with and sometimes the line doesn't always do what the narrator wants. They wander through life together travelling around the world, visiting art exhibitions and meeting famous people including Paul Klee and Saul Steinberg.
Renowned French cartoonist and illustrator, Serge Bloch has created an unusual, philosophical story with delightfully amusing minimal artwork. On one level, it will be enjoyed by younger children for its wit and simplicity, but on another level, for older children and adults, the line can be seen as a metaphor for the creative inner artistic spirit and the big adventure as the understanding and fulfilment of that creativity which must eventually be passed on to someone else.
Bloch's free style pen-and-ink drawings appear completely spontaneous. To demonstrate how 'the line wasn't always easy to live with' and could 'make me see red, or give me the blues', Bloch shows the boy balancing precariously on the edge of a stool surrounded by lots of frenzied squiggles of red and blue, but at other times the pages are quieter with the narrator set against swathes of white background with just a dash of red to represent the line.
The Big Adventure of a Little Line is a thought-provoking celebration of inspiration, imagination and originality.