“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.
You’re responsible for your rose.”
From The Little Prince
Written and Illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
First published in 1943
The Little Prince is simultaneously a fantastical fairy tale and an allegory about the importance of childhood innocence and love. The protagonist crashes his aeroplane in the Sahara desert and while he is trying to repair his plane, a little boy appears and asks him to draw a sheep. As their relationship grows the pilot learns that the “little prince” comes from asteroid B-612 where he has left behind three volcanoes and a rose.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French aviator, began writing The Little Prince during World War II. He served as a pilot during the war and disappeared on a mission over the Mediterranean in 1944. Saint-Exupéry’s life is deeply intertwined with the story – he once found himself stranded in the Sahara – and this seems to imbue even the most absurd encounters with a sort of innocent plausibility.
Why Leola loves it…
Leola enjoyed the story, especially the little prince’s conversation with his wise friend the fox; and the picture of the boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant (you might think it looks like a hat). Leola sometimes fell asleep listening to The Little Prince – not because she was bored by it, but because she found it very simple and soothing…and she was rather tired. “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
It is only grown ups who find The Little Prince a profound book. For children, it is an uncomplicated story that makes them smile knowingly as they imagine the little prince’s small planet that is only as big as a house; and his three volcanoes, one dormant and two active, that he uses to cook his food and keep himself warm.
Why I love it…
Like so many people around the world I am in awe of The Little Prince. Just as the little prince finds answers to his questions, the reader is gently shown the answers to what is most important in everyday existence. I am inspired by the simple message of The Little Prince to look with the heart instead of with the eyes and find the true beauty of common things.
Thank you Katrina, Suz, Karen and Claire for a lovely evening discussing The Little Prince. You brought him to life for me. xx