Monday, October 23, 2017

The Little Prince Written and Illustrated by Antoine de Saint Exupery

It seems like I see The Little Prince on the majority of lists of the best books that everyone should have read. I sadly never read this as a child.  I was looking through my bookcase of kids’ books this summer and saw that we this book as part of a great deal through the Scholastic Book Order for something like ten books for ten dollars.  I gave my son Daniel a few books to choose from for us to read together and after reading the first page, he picked The Little Prince.  We actually read this book last month, but I’ve been a bit behind on my blog with student advising and mid-terms so I’m just getting to the review now. 

What entranced nine year old Daniel about this book, was the story told by the narrator in the first few pages about how to draw a boa constrictor after reading True Stories from Nature.  The story was accompanied by drawings and Daniel and I both thought it was hilarious how he chose to draw the snake and how the adults didn’t understand.  I think this was a metaphor for the rest of the novel and about life – sometimes we miss the obvious beauty in the world around us.

The Little Prince lives on a planet all by himself with three volcanoes, two active and one extinct.  He also has one beautiful flower.  He loved the flower and she loved him, but one day he decides to leave on interplanetary travels where he discovers many things before traveling to earth.

Daniel thought the Little Prince was very interesting and he really liked the pictures that went with the story.  I thought the book had beautiful language and some excellent quotes, but I’ll admit that Daniel seemed to love it more and understand it more than I did.  I kept feeling like there was a deeper meaning to the story that I just wasn’t understanding just like with the start of the story with the adults not understanding the child and the boa constrictor. Was this the engineer in me trying to read too much into it or the engineer in me looking for the hard facts and missing the philosophy?

My favorite quotes:

“But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference.”

“It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others.”

“But there is no shop anywhere where you can find friendship, and so men have no friends anymore.”

“It is only with the heart one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“But the eyes are blind.  One must look with the heart. ..”

Overall, The Little Prince was a beautiful and very unique book that my son and I enjoyed reading together and discussing . . . although I feel like I was missing something profound.

What are your thoughts?  Did you love the Little Prince?  What was your favorite thing about the story?  What am I missing?  Why do you think this book is a classic?

Book Source: Purchased from a Scholastic Book Order


  1. Lovely--and honest--review, Laura! As you point out, the story is perhaps written to appeal to children, to the little princes (and princesses), rather than to adults. So perhaps the magic of the story is felt by children most strongly. I enjoyed the quotations you feature here. One of them has been on my blog for years.

  2. I agree with you - the magic of the story certainly is felt the most by children. Although it makes me sad that we all grow up and lose our child-like sense of wonder at the world.

  3. What a great post! I've been encountering A Little Prince everywhere it seems this year, and I still haven't read it. I think it's the sci-fi aspect of him being from a different planet. I'm sure I would like it if I would just try. So cool that you experienced this with your son who got it more than you did!