Monday, July 28, 2008

Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de SAint Exupery (with some Weekly Geek questions)

Book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Genre: Classic

Rating: A-

This was the first book I read from my list for the Classics Challenge. I wanted to read it because I've heard so much about it. Some people re-read it over and over again for constant and continual inspiration. So what'd I think? Hmmm.... it was interesting. It was not what I expected at all. It was different. I could tell there was some major symbolic stuff going on, but not sure I understood it all! But I enjoyed trying!

It's about this guy who gets stranded in the desert when suddenly, this Little Prince appears. The Little Prince tells the guy of his adventures planet hopping and all the things he's seen and learned from that. He meets some strange people. Mostly people who are full of themselves and think that what they are doing is the most important thing in the world.

Some final Weekly Geek questions:

From Tasses: What message, or central theme, did you take away from The Little Prince? Do you think it deserves the high praise it has received?

I think the main theme of this little story is about how we see things differently when we grow up, and how kids can look at life in a simple way, in a way that we lose as adults, which is quite sad. I do think it's a quaint little story that does deserve the praise it's received, though I think I'd have to study it all a bit more to understand everything.

From bookchronicle:I've always heard so much about but have yet to read The Little Prince. How does the artwork and text intertwine? Do you consider it a classic for adults and children alike?

You sound just like me, having heard a lot but never read it. When I picked it up, I didn't even realize that art work played an important part, but yes, it does, and yes, they (the art and text) do intertwine quite wonderfully together. All of the adventures are illustrated with cute little-kid type drawings. But they do add to the text to help you visualize these funny little planets the prince is trying to explain.

Yes, I would consider it a classic for both adults and children. The adults will maybe "get" what the moral of the story is, whereas the children will just have fun with cute drawings and the funny little story.

From shereadsbooks: Jumping a bit onto bookchronicle's question, did you first read The Little Prince as a child or as an adult? If as an adult, do you think you would have liked it, back in the day? If as a child, how have your impressions of the book changed? How would you classify this book, if you were cataloguing it?

I've mentioned that this is the first time I've read the book. But if I would have read it as a kid? Hmmm... I guess it depends on how old I would have been. Maybe as a quite young kid I would have liked it, but if I was older (4th grade and up perhaps) I don't think I would have understood it all and thought it was just a little weird.

I would classify it as a classic for both children and adults.

From Joy Renee:I'm interested in the technique and art of storytelling itself so anything along that line would interest me. My questions are for any or all of the fiction titles in your list:

How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering?

At first, it's told in the first person from the POV of the guy stranded in the desert. But then it shifts to third person from the POV of the little prince as he tells about his travels.

How was language used to set tone and mood?Was the prose dense or spare? Were sentences generally simple or complex?

The language in this book is very very simple, on a kid's level.

How was metaphor used? Were associations fresh or did they tend toward cliche? Did they add to your understanding of the theme?

The whole book is a metaphor! All the planets the prince travels to are referring back to some part of our society.

What was the central or organizing theme?How does the title relate to the story? Was it fitting?
I've mentioned what I figured the theme (at least one of them) is. The title is obviously straight forward and to the point and quite fitting for the story.

Sheesh! Hard questions!

1 comment:

  1. Good review - clearly some important messages in there for all. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which is a special Olympic edition) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days:,, Enjoy!



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