3 out of 5 stars to The Little Prince, a French children’s story written in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Have you ever read a book that was translated into your native language and thought, “I’ve lost some beauty and meaning in this version?” That’s how I feel about this book. I read it in English as I cannot read, speak or write French. I know very little about the French, but with a few folks I’ve known, I can align this book with their personalities. Though it’s deemed a children’s book, in America, we’re often a little less willing to give something like this to kids, so it’s probably better for a new teenager to read. It has some pictures as well as story, so it’s somewhere in the middle of YA versus children’s book to me.
As for the story, consider it a moral lesson, an allegory, in how to live life. Comparing adults to children. Imagination to work. Freedom to structure. Why you choose to do something versus being told to do it. The characters are a little too direct or cold for me to connect with, but I do enjoy the conversation the book starts with young adults. It can teach you how to think on your own but also recognize there is a time and place for questioning why versus just doing the task.
I would like to learn French to see if I read something different from the book. But then again, without years of culture and history, it may not have the same impact as it does for someone who grew up in the environment. Anyone from France have a theory? I’d be curious…
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This entry was posted in Book Review: General Fiction, Book Reviews and tagged allegory, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, book review, children, french, metaphor, moral lesson, The Little Prince, translation, young adult.