39. The Little Prince 

This one is a little difficult to write about. It is one of those children books that keeps on giving the more you think about it. One of the warnings that is reinforced time and time again is how awful it is to grow up and forget what is wonderful and good, how terrible it is to loose your imagination and only see a drawing as a hat, instead of a boa constrictor from the outside with a full belly. But it is also much more complex than that, it runs through the Little Prince himself as he find’s some adults so very odd, counting stars that they claim to own and another lighting a lamp every minute in accordance to the terms of a job and the sunset, and of course the perplexing man who seeks to be admired, and raises his hat to applause.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery

Of course, I was besotted from the first page but I’m also besotted with Osbourne’s film adaptation and it never fails to make me cry. In case you don’t know what this story is about, it follows the Little Prince who meets an aviator who is lost in the dessert. The Little Prince usually lives on his own asteroid with three volcanoes to clean out (one is extinct but you never know), Baobabs to keep at bay (plants that will take over a planet and crush it), and also a haughty Rose who he is very much in love with. This story meanders through the Little Prince’s life on his asteroid and his adventures elsewhere, including taming a fox and finally leaving Earth.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” p. 68

It is a wonderfully written story, I can’t say anything for the translation but it is light and easy and unexpected. I really enjoy the illustrations peppered throughout the text and this is a narrative that makes good use of how few pages it takes up. I wanted something like this text when I read Peter Pan a few years ago, the Little Prince is a curious character, quick with questions, receptive to knowledge, happily grateful, and optimistic.

“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” p. 26

I was incredibly surprised just how wonderfully profound I found this novel. I’ll happily revisit this, in fact, I’ll race you.


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