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El Principito / The Little Prince

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

In 2000 Harcourt proudly reissued Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry's masterpiece, The Little Prince, in a sparkling new format. Newly translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard, this timeless classic was embraced by critics and readers across the … see full wiki

Author: Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Genre: Literary Criticism
Publisher: Mariner Books
Date Published: July 01, 2001
1 review about El Principito / The Little Prince

Grown-ups are Strange...

  • Nov 20, 2003
Rating:
+5
Pros: Meaningful story will open your eyes to what you may have never seen before

Cons: Absolutely nothing

The Bottom Line: If you never read anything else read this. Read it to your children, and to their children. Read it at least once a year. Read it.

A friend and fellow employee at the library where I work was astonished when he heard I had not read The Little Prince. His eyes grew so big, and he ran to find the book and told me to stop reading everything else; it wouldn't matter, he said, because I'd finish this book within a few hours. And though I did, I wish it had never ended.

I almost feel as if I'm not qualified to write a review for a book as wonderful as this. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a very "deep" book, but oddly enough, it's depth may be better seen by children. This book was, in fact, in the children's section in the library, and it is only about 92 pages in length, making it very simple for adults to read, and a great length for children.

The book opens with the author talking about his first drawing, which, to the adults in his life, looked like a hat. The author was not surprised that adults did not see the true drawing, and so he re-drew it, and then it was obvious that it was a boa constrictor with an elephant in it's tummy. Years later, when the author is much older, his plane broke down in the Sahara. He awoke the next morning to, "If you please-- draw me a sheep!" And so we are introduced to the Little Prince himself. The author does not think he can draw a sheep, and so he draws what he knows... which is the elephant in the boa constrictor. The Little Prince takes one look at it, and to the author's surprise, tells him he did not ask for a boa constrictor with an elephant in him, he asked for a sheep!

Immediately we realize that this prince is no ordinary "person." As they are both stuck in the Sahara, one would assume that they would get to know each other. Ah, but it is not as easy as that! Although the Little Prince repeats questions until they are answered to his liking, he does not always answer questions asked of him. The author eventually realizes that the Little Prince can not be from around here... from anywhere on this planet. He seems naive, yet very intelligent. The author begins to learn of the Little Prince's planet; a very small place all his own where the baobabs must be distinguished and where there are only a few volcanoes. The author also learns of the flower that is of such importance to the Little Prince. In fact, the flower plays a very important, subtle role in this story.

We then learn about the Little Prince's trip among a few asteroids which ends with Earth. On his journey, the Little Prince meets a king, a conceited man, a tippler, a businessman, a lamplighter, a geographer, and finally, Earth. Each person the Little Prince meets, and each planet he lands on has a story of its own. Upon reaching Earth, the Little Prince meets a snake, who teaches him about power and deceiving looks. He meets several other Earth dwellers, and again, each has a story and a lesson to teach the Prince as well as the reader.

The Little Prince is desperate to get back to his flower, but by now, the author does not want him to leave. The author is devastated when the Little Prince plans on leaving, but I won't ruin the end of this story.

The Little Prince had me in tears at the end of the story, and I already know that this will be a book I purchase for myself and read many times, eventually to my children. The story is full of symbolism and lessons to learn. The statement is often made within this book that grown-ups are strange and they don't understand, and after finishing the story, I may actually have to agree. Children do have an intuition that perhaps leaves us upon reaching adulthood. Reading this book has helped remember the importance of love and the little things, and I will never take something a child says for anything less than what it is worth again.

I could find absolutely nothing wrong with this wonderful story.

As I said before, I don't feel quite certified to write a review over the wonders of this book, and it is my opinion that one must read something before he can understand the symbolism, depth, and meaning of it. If you read nothing else in your life (I sure cannot imagine that happening!) read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Here are some quotes from the book that made me get goosebumps:

"If some one loves a flower, of which just one single
blossom grows in all the millions and millions of
stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at
the stars. He can say to himself: 'Somewhere, my
flower is there...' But if the sheep eats the flower,
in one moment all his stars will be darkened... And
you think that is not important!"

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.

"It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to
judge others."

"You become responsible, forever, for what you have
tamed."

"All men have the stars, but they are not the same
things for different people. You- you alone- will
have the stars as no one else has them-"



Recommended:
Yes

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