The Little Prince

Six months.  Six more months until I go back to France.  Paris.  Of course, that means six months of planning, and thinking about what books I’m going to read or reread in preparation.  And what books I’m going to introduce to my son.

As it turns out, to my delighted astonishment, last week in library he picked up a comic book about The Little Prince.  On Sunday morning, we read it in one sitting.  And although the comic book was ok (what can I say, it’s a comic), I knew I had to read him the original.


So yesterday I went to my favorite bookstore, Bank Street, and picked up one of the newer editions.  I have to say I like the old printings better.  Everyone is trying to jazz up the covers of the classics, but honestly, some things are classics for a reason.

The woman at checkout eyed my selection.  “You’ve chosen one of my favorite books,” she said.  Then to my surprise, she lifts up her sleeve and shows me her tattoo.  It was the Little Prince.

So, if I were one to believe in signs, or kismet, I’d have to say you got me at the tattoo.

Last night my son and I started on the adventure.  My little guy, who’s as squirmy as can be at bedtime, was automatically drawn into the story that begins when the adult narrator remembers a picture he saw in a book of a boa constrictor swallowing a wild beast.  He was six-years old.  Just like my son.

We didn’t get very far.  The narrator’s plane crashes in the desert and the Little Prince wakes him and asks him to draw a sheep.  But on our way to school this morning, I realized how much of an impression this story had already made on him.  My son was all questions.  “Do you think a boa constrictor could really swallow an elephant whole?  Why was the Little Prince in the desert?  Why did he need a sheep?  If his planet is really small, where will he put the sheep?”  And then he got reflective.  “It’s true.  Grown ups don’t see the same things as kids.”

I’m so looking forward to continuing on our adventure.  And to all of my son’s questions.


14 comments on “The Little Prince

  1. Wonderful! And fun about the tattoo! I have the french version. I really must make an effort and read that next. So are you going to France permanently?

  2. My copy also has the “classic” cover! Glad your son is enjoying this literary adventure. I had to spend a semester of high school French translating this book, but – it was better than “Jules et Jim”!

    I wonder if there is a Pinterest page of literary tattoos…?

  3. What a lovely post. The opening scene of The Little Prince is so powerful. Wonderful, wonderings from you son. Sounds like you are beginning a fantastic journey together.

    • Thanks, Rosanne! I’m so excited that he is interested in this book. I must have been around his age when it was first read to me, and I still remember constantly flipping back to the beginning–especially to that first scene with the boa swallowing the elephant. So powerful!

  4. LOVE this post. I took down my copy of “Le Petit Prince” (from my French shelf high in the living room) and started re-reading it today. I first read it as a child living in Paris and reading it transports my right back to my class room somewhere in the late (cough, cough) 70’s.

  5. I’m a big fan of “Le petit prince”, too! Your son’s questions on this story are so cute! I thought this story was difficult for children. But after reading your post, I don’t think so. I will try to re-read it with my daughters. We are waiting for all of you in Paris!

    • Michiko, I don’t think it’s an easy story for kids. We’ve been doing baby steps, reading a chapter or two at a time and then we talk about it. We cannot wait to see all of you! A peu pres cinq mois! Woo-hoo! 🙂

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