Book Reviews

(Reread) Review — The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, translated from the French by Katherine Woods. | Format: Hardcover, 97 pages, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1943. | Source: Own. | Add to your Goodreads TBR here!

“And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You–only you–will have stars that can laugh!” —The Little Prince, p. 88

I don’t know how many times I’ve read The Little Prince now. This was probably at least my third time, though possibly I’ve read it more than that. I remember I read it the first time as a kid and didn’t really grasp it fully. I liked it, I liked the little prince, I liked the boa eating the elephant, but I didn’t understand what was behind the adults with their “matters of consequence”. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that the story made sense and I understood the prince’s curiosity, love, and disappointment. I read this book the last time in 2010, and now, five years later, I was hit by its themes and meanings even more than before.

This is a classic novella by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. You could say it is a children’s book, but I think it is suited for teens and adults, too. Everyone can enjoy this, kids because of it’s beautiful illustrations and adventure, and adults and young adults because of how it makes you pause and reflect on how our motives and ideas change as we age and take on new responsibilities.

The book is about a pilot who crashes in the Sahara desert and comes across the little prince. The prince has left his tiny home asteroid of B-612 in search of, to be general, the importance of life. He leaves behind his beautiful rose, the invasive baobab trees, the three volcanoes (two active, one dormant), and the lovely sunrises and sunsets and travels from planet to planet, meeting a host of people who have a variety of different beliefs and existences. He meets a king, a conceited man, a tippler, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer–all before it is suggested he visit Earth. Upon landing on Earth, the prince encounters a snake, flowers (including more roses), a merchant, a fox that wants to be tamed, a railway switchman–and then he meets our narrator, the pilot who can only draw boa constrictors from the outside and boa constrictors from the inside.

The Little Prince is a touching story about grown-ups and their narrow beliefs and about the beauty and innocence of youth. It is a must-read, a sort of story you should’t pass up on. The ending can be interpreted in different ways, either through the mind of an adult, or through the mind of an unknowing child. How did I perceive this melancholy story? Through the eyes of an adult who still wants to be/is a child at heart. ♦

Have you read The Little Prince?
Have you read it in English, or in it’s original French?
If you haven’t read it, would you want to now?
Comment below letting me know!
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7 thoughts on “(Reread) Review — The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  1. Great review! I’m a French-Canadian who has read Le petit prince a few times. Loved it as a kid and an adult. Someday, I should read the English version, to see how the author’s poetic language translates to English.

    Have you seen this trailer for the upcoming film adaptation? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIAbFrMIVbo&app=desktop

    (I love the style of the animation. I can’t wait to see it!).

    Cheers.

    Like

  2. I haven’t read The Little Prince, but I love classics and I love classic children’s stories, so it’s on my to-read list–and after this review I’m even more interested! It sounds quirky and interesting and heartfelt, all things I love to find in children’s books. On that note, have you read The Phantom Tollbooth? It’s a quirky and witty and wonderful children’s book that was brought to mind by your description of The Little Prince–if you haven’t read it, you might want to check it out!

    Fabulous review–and thanks so much for your comments on my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read The Little Prince a really long time ago, when I was just a kid. And like you said: I enjoyed it, but I didn’t fully grasp everything that it was supposed to be.

    I really want to read it again now that I’m older, and can perceive its themes in a more mature way. I definitely want to read it this year, because I keep seeing it pop up around the blogosphere, and I definitely think I am meant to re-read it!

    As for language, I wish I could say I read it in French but alas, I know only English, haha.

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    1. Alas, I only know English as well. I do think it would be cool to read it in its original French, but that might have to be in a different lifetime. 😉 You should definitely reread it. I got a lot more out of it now versus five years ago (and the years before that), but I still liked it very much.

      Like

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