Book Review: Little Prince Board Books

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Ever since I read Le Petit Prince in high school for French class, I have loved it.  Like, from the first page and the first picture.  If you’ve never read it – I highly recommend it.  It’s a quick read (85 pages with pictures sprinkled throughout).  Although may be a quick read, the content settles in your soul and makes you contemplate all the symbolism for much longer.

I’ve read the book many times since then, and every time I do, something new speaks to me.  Every time I read it, I’m a little wiser.  Below are some of my favorite gems from the book:

The Fox on being tamed

“One does not see well except with the heart.  The essential is invisible to the eyes.” Fox shares his secret with the Little Prince before his departure.

The fox also tells the Little Prince how words create misunderstandings, but by just sitting next to someone, investing time in them, creating a bond with them, one can tame or domesticate them.

The Rose and what makes someone special

The fox teaches the Prince that despite there being a whole garden of roses, his rose can be special and unique to him.  

The Little Prince visits the rose garden again. “You’re lovely, but you’re empty,” he went on. “One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass. Since she’s the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three for butterflies.) Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.” 

Mono No Aware and the color of honey

“I had drunk the water. I could breathe easy now.  The sand, at daybreak, is honey colored.  And that color was making me happy, too.  Why then did I also feel so sad?”

When I read the final chapters with a class this past semester, I had a whole new context that I was bringing to it, a whole new level of understanding. And a boat load of tears.

Recently, I learned about the Japanese concept of Mono No Aware. The bittersweet feelings of happiness for having known or experienced something that will not last. As I read the quote above, it hit me again – Mono No Aware. It’s so remarkable that a simple scent, color, sound, or texture could provide a link to a memory and concurrently a pang of sadness, too.

The Little Prince is a book for kids, but the message speaks to us all.  Even though this is a “kid’s book,” it’s a little above Mon Cœur’s (MC) current attention span or word to picture ratio.  I can’t wait for the day when we can read this book together.

So I was more than excited to find Little Prince board books – Meet the Little Prince and Travels with the Little Prince at a local bookstore.  It introduces the characters (the Prince, the fox, and the rose) and the story in a concise, toddler-friendly fashion.  Bonus: Meet the Little Prince, was written bilingual French-English.

MC enjoys these books immensely, and tells me the characters each time.  This is a great way to introduce the story without reading the book, and it will build interest and background for MC for when we do read the book together when she’s a little older.

Have you read The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupéry? Please share your favorite gem in the comments section!

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