The Little Prince
The softly hued, watery artwork is something of a highlight—breaking up dense chunks of text now and then with curious, dreamy imagery. The style successfully conveyed both scope and emotion, while also reinforcing a charmingly dated feel.
I regret I lack the sentimentality that seems so common to those who read and loved this book as a child. I somehow made it to my mid-20’s before I’d ever heard of it at all. (I like to think that gives me a more objective perception of it, but I also sadly recognize I’ve missed the chance at being impressed with child-like awe as well.) I personally felt the translation from French to English sometimes left the sentence structuring a bit awkward. Granted, I might not have noticed as much if I hadn’t been reading it aloud to my children.
NOTE: I read this book originally with my 5 and 6 year old, and both seemed more interested in the roman numerals that marked the beginning of each chapter than they did in the story itself. It became a bit like a long literary road trip, in which they were both slumped over, fidgeting and continually asking “Is it over yet?” For this reason (and the word choices) I suspect it would be better suited for 7-8 year old readers—closer to early middle-grade comprehension.
Though it takes the scenic route to get its points across, one can see the enduring wisdom in a handful of quotes that are repeated throughout. One of which being the assertion that “grown ups are so strange.” The other being, of course, the most famous quote I so often encountered before I’d ever heard of the book itself. It rings true because it is a form of a proverb that hold universal appeal:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
This is one of my favorite books of all time! Dont be fooled by the simple appearance of this book; there is some really deep material between the covers. Ive pondered whether to call this book a fable or a parable. Ultimately, Ive decided its some form of both. As the Little Prince travels through the universe he meets many different people (and animals) that teach him great lessons about life.
The story begins with the Little Prince leaving his small planet because he is not happy. As he travels the universe he stops on other planets and talks to the inhabitants. Most of the people that he meets on these planets are adults and represent the worst of human behavior and foolishness. My favorites are the Vain Man who cannot hear anything but praise and the drunkard that drinks because he feels guilty about drinking. While these characters are not meant to be likeable, they represent many of the problems that we face in society (i.e. the need for applause and constant praise and the drunkards guilt cycle).
Eventually the Little Prince makes his way to earth, which is where he meets the narrator of the storya pilot who has become stranded in the middle of the Sahara Desert because his plane crashed. Before meeting the pilot, the Little Prince meets a snake and a fox. The Princes time with the fox turns out to be a life changing moment. Through his interactions with the fox he learns a great secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. With this knowledge the Prince realizes that his life is special and he decides to make the hard journey back to his small planet and the precious flower that lives there.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this book. As a small child I remember watching the cartoon adaptation of Nickelodeon. Of course, I didnt realize there was a book at that time. In high school we had to read this book in our French class. That was the first time I read it, and I instantly fell in love. As an adult it has an even deeper hold on me. The author of the book wrote this story after his town in France had been overrun by the Nazis during World War 2. Knowing that information gives this book an even deeper illumination of the human spiritboth good and bad. The content is both deep and moving, while funny and simple at the same time. You can find humor in the generalizations about adults and children, and Im sure we can all see a little of ourselves in some of the characters. As a whole, the story is beautifully written and immensely thought provoking. You cannot read this book and not ponder lifes greatest questions. Its impossible.
If you have not read this charming childrens book, you are missing one of the greatest stories ever written! Its a quick and easy read, but it will linger in your thoughts well after you have finished reading.
A lot of people thinks that is just for kids, but I can assure you that no matter how old you are you will enjoy every word and you will learn something new.
Is a classic that should be read -very quickly by the way- by kids and adults one time and another, and another. I just cant get enough The Little Prince.