Graphic novel

Marc Boutavant, Grande Ourse 2022 winner at the SLPJ

I try to create my work with a view to giving back what I have received from reading. It's a kind of childhood support.

A prolific illustrator of comics and children's books, Marc Boutavant was the winner of the 2022 Grande Ourse prize at the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse in Seine-Saint-Denis. The SLPJ and the Institut français will be promoting the winning work and French children's literature worldwide during 2023, in particular through the Pépites internationales

Published on 18/01/2023

5 min

Marc Boutavant is a French illustrator and author of children's literature. Born in 1970, he studied at the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, before starting a career as an illustrator. His first success came in 2002 with the series Mouk, which tells the adventures of a young bear who travels the world and has all sorts of exciting adventures. Alongside Emmanuel Guibert, he also created the series Ariol et ses amis, which has appeared every month in J'aime Lire magazine since 1999. His distinctive style, characterised by bright colours, simple shapes and expressive lines, is coupled with a fondness for anthropomorphic characters. Since the beginning of his career, he has published more than seventy children's books and his work has been translated into many languages. 

Marc Boutavant's stories are characterised by his intense use of colour, simple forms and their comic dimension. His illustrations often feature anthropomorphic animals, such as his character Chien Pourri, an endearing anti-hero riddled with fleas, or Edmond, a shy squirrel surrounded by extraordinary friends. Marc Boutavant's work plunges us into the daily life of young schoolchildren confronted with the joys and little worries of everyday life. Bogueugueu, a character created with Béatrice Fontanel, is a young schoolboy who is bullied for his stammering, but eventually gets out of it thanks to his friends and understanding teachers. 

Marc Boutavant has won numerous awards throughout his career, such as the Micheluzzi Young Reader Award for Ariol volume 1-2 (2019), and the Bologna Ragazzi Award, Comics - Early Reader category, for Ariol volume 15: Touche pas à mon veau (2022). He has also collaborated with some of the most important authors of children's literature of his generation, such as Astrid Desbordes, Agnès Mathieu-Daudé, Emmanuel Guibert and Colas Gutman. Four of his iconic series have also been adapted for television: Ariol (2009), Mouk (2011), Chien Pourri (2019) and Edmond et ses amis (2022). Last year, he received the Grande Ourse 2022 prize, awarded by the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse for his body of work, the jury having decided to recognise his images in which there is "appetite, roundness and colour to celebrate the joy of being together, of discovering ever further". 

  • 1970


    Born in Burgundy.

  • 1999


    Ariol, with Emmanuel Guibert.

  • 2002


    Mouk, a series of illustrated books that will be adapted into animation.

  • 2013


    Chien Pourri.

  • 2022


    The Grande Ourse prize at the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse.

L'institut français, LAB