Henri’s walk to Paris : Designed by Saul Bass

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* Update – The long-awaited reissue is now available. Pick up a copy at Amazon or your local book store.

As far as I know this is the only kids picture book illustrated by designer Saul Bass. Saul provides a 60s pop color backdrop for the text written by Leonore Klein. The book was published by Young Scott books in 1962.

Henri’s walk to Paris is the story of young boy who lives in Reboul, France that dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris he decides to pack up a lunch and head for the city. Along the way he gets tired and falls asleep under a tree. This is when the story really gets good. I’m not sure if I should spoil the end for you, but lets just say it involves a pencil stealing bird with a band aid on its face.

Here below is the actual preface as seen in the book.


Like many of us Henri wants to see Paris.

In Paris, there are thousands of buses. In Reboul, where Henri lives, there is only one bus.

In paris there are many parks and rows and rows of trees. The Park in Reboul has only five trees. In Paris there are many zoos full of animals for the people to see.

So one fine day Henri packs up some lunch and starts off to see all the things he had read about.

What Henri sees we see in a flowing panorama of pictures conceived by the eminent graphic designer, Saul Bass.

and how Henri finds himself very much at home at the end of his long journey, is the amusing secret of Mrs. Klein’s warm pattern story.


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I would love to own this book. Saul Bass was an absolute master of composition, and the colours are just so great. Wish they would republish some of these classic kids books like they have with the Ann/Paul Rand ones. I am sure there is a huge market for well designed, intelligent children’s books as opposed to some of the pretty poor stuff that is being churned out now.

Did you get a copy of this! Rad. Let’s start a forgery club and sell them to japan. Are you in. P.S. Don’t tell anybody.

I totally agree. Theres some quality titles out there now, but theres a great deal of junk as well. Theres been a few reissues of books by Mary Blair, the Provensens and J. P Miller but theres still a ton of material that could be released.

Ha! Im in as long as no one knows.

P.S I think we just told everyone

Holy Hawaiian hula dancers, that’s amazing.

Just amazing images and design. The crops you’ve shown are great but would I would love to see a complete set of spreads from the book. It’s the best way to see the structure, flow and pacing of the design. At college we used to photocopy complete books and run them round the studio, one above another, to see the way the designers have structured the books with repeated compositions, build ups and stand alone sections to tell the story.

Simplicity that communicates volumes. I would love to see that more in the childrens books being published today. Wonderful find.


Wow! I agree with the above comments. I’d like to see the entire thing.

Where does one get a copy of this book?

Hmm good question.
Its a tough find. Ebay is probably your only chance.

not on e-bay, half.com, amazon, or any of the rare book sites.

Seriously someone should bootleg it.

this book is fantastic. i had a friend as a child whose parents had a copy. i used to love the zoo page the most. thanks for sharing these!

I found a copy of this awesome book. One very rare book to find an probably one fo the rarest in this genre. It could, be. It is being sold by a Rare (ABAA) Children’s book dealer in Connecticut called “EM Maurice Books.” You can find his email address or phone number by googling it. I’m not sure what he has it priced at but I can bet it won’t be cheap. Better this than the stock market though. Good Luck!

Not in the best condition but up for auction on ebay!