Dessins d'Enfants are combinatorial objects, namely drawings with vertices and edges on topological surfaces.
Their interest lies in their relation with the set of algebraic curves defined over the closure of the rationals, and the corresponding action of the absolute Galois group on them.
The study of this group via such realted combinatorial methods as its action on the Dessins and on certain fundamental groups of moduli spaces was initiated by Alexander Grothendieck in his unpublished Esquisse d'un Programme, and developed by many of the mathematicians who have contributed to this volume.
The various articles here unite all of the basics of the subject as well as the most recent advances.
Researchers in number theory, algebraic geometry or related areas of group theory will find much of interest in this book.