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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday's for Kids XVI -- THE LITTLE PRINCE

The last time I read The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was in my high school French class.  I can't say that I particularly appreciated it then; I hated French class, and, if I'm being honest, I hated English class more.  Worse, I considered myself an elite artist at the time--was a bit of a snob, in fact (which self judgment is likely generous) --and snubbed the pathetic attempts at "art" by the self-deprecating author/illustrator.

Thankfully, I've matured a bit since then, in both literary taste and humility.  Over the last two days, I've finally re-read most of it and look forward to finishing it this afternoon.  It is absolutely splendid--fun, light, philosophical, perfect for kids, perfect for adults--well, perfect for adults who "get it."  While not in the least the same book (except for the similarity of a general denouncing of "adults"), if you like the Alice books, you will like The Little Prince.

You can read it in its entirety, illustrations and all, right here.  I highly recommend that you give up an hour or two of your day or night and get just that much more well-read.

Highlights from this fantastic piece of classic literature--quotable quotes and illustrations:
  • "Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people."
  • "When you've finished getting yourself ready in the morning, you must go get the planet ready."
  • "One should never listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance."
  • "It is truly useful since it is beautiful."
  • "'Where are the people?' resumed the little prince at last. 'It's a little lonely in the desert...' / 'It is lonely when you're among people, too,' said the snake."
  • "You're beautiful, but you're empty.... No one could die for you."
  • "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
  • "What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well."
(click to enlarge)

Special thanks to my old high school friend, Veronica, for reminding me of the existence of The Little Prince when she saw the enigmatic picture (current "brick") drawn by my daughter.  I hope I will never be so grown up that I miss the elephant.


  1. i don't think i've ever read "the little prince." s'pose i should add it to my list.

  2. It's beautiful and whip-cracking fast.

  3. The illustrations have an engaging simplicity to them--almost primitive, but somehow I don't think that it detracts from them.

  4. I actually think it elevates them. Of course, I can't argue with the spectacular skill of someone like Tenniel, but these, as you call them "primitive" (and I agree), pictures a beautiful. Aside from the simplicity of their lines and colors, Exupery has a good eye for form and structure, generally missing from otherwise similarly child-like drawings.


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