Book Review: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Amazon.com: The Little Prince (8580001044842): Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,  Richard Howard: Books

Book Details:

Year of Publication: 1943

Genre: Fable (Middle Grade)

Format (How I Read It): Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis:

A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see, standing before him, the most extraordinary little fellow. “Please,” asks the stranger, “draw me a sheep.” And the pilot realizes that when life’s events are too difficult to understand, there is no choice but to succumb to their mysteries. He pulls out pencil and paper… And thus begins this wise and enchanting fable that, in teaching the secret of what is really important in life, has changed forever the world for its readers.

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince, presented here in a stunning new translation with carefully restored artwork. The definitive edition of a worldwide classic, it will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.

Book Review

Themes: Don’t judge others. Friendship. Listen to your heart. Don’t grow up too fast.

“Then you shall pass judgment on yourself,” the king answered. “That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it’s because you are truly a wise man.”

Character Development: The pilot and the Little Prince were definitely the two most important characters of this story, and the other minor characters that showed up were really only there to establish different lessons and morals. Which was fine! It’s a very abstract story with unusual characters. I was intrigued by them, but didn’t necessarily feel super connected to them.

Plot/Pacing: For such a short book, it did move pretty slow. It goes at a leisurely pace as both the pilot and the Little Prince learn various life lessons. There was one section where the Little Prince is hopping from planet to planet, and these were probably my favorite chapters! They felt more lively and introduced several new, odd characters.

“He was just a fox like a hundred thousand others. But I’ve made him my friend, and now he’s the only fox in all the world.”

Writing Style: Whimsical. Abstract.

“Bingeability”: Moderate. It’s short, but since it’s so abstract you kind of have to take your time and really think about what’s happening.

Emotional Investment: Moderate.

Windows and Mirrors: Other planets?

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

Overall Thoughts: This was a strange book! I somehow had never read this as a kid, but I had definitely heard of it. That being said, I went in to it knowing little-to-nothing about the story. It was much weirder and more confusing than I expected! And I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. I thought it had a lot of great themes in it which I found really interesting. However, it still didn’t love this one. I normally like this type of book; it reminded me of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which is similar in that it is fable-like and is more focused on theme rather than plot or character development. However, something was just missing for me here. But I think it’s just a personal issue! I just didn’t connect with it, but it’s a well-written and thought-provoking book that is worthy of its status as a classic.

Recommendation: I work with many emergent bilinguals, and I couldn’t help but think about them as I was reading. I think this would be a difficult one to read in a language that isn’t your dominant language, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind. That being said, I think this would be fun to do as a novel study with advanced readers (maybe 5th grade and up). I was also thinking that some of the chapters could work as expert models for learning about theme! Some are short and could stand on their own, so this could be a good way to use it in the classroom.

Thank you for reading my review! Leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read this one or have any questions about it, and keep an eye out for my next review!

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