Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

I am very sad to say, I just didn't get this book. Everyone adores it, swear it's one of the best, most inspiring books ever written, with brilliant philosophical insights. Perhaps my expectations were (way, way) too high, but I found the book odd, trite, and self-important.

Yes, its philosophical message is sweet and should be attended to, but it is presented in a very heavy-handed way. One could argue that as the book is for children, the allegory needs to be more obvious, but personally I find the opposite is true. Children are pretty attuned to stories and don't need to be bludgeoned with morals. Maybe I'm too old for this book. I read it too late. If I'd read it in college it might have spoken to me more, but I'm not sure. I think I'm just too practical and too sensible. I've never been a big fan of allegories.

The pictures are cute. The prince is a unique character. The notion of living on a planet the size of a house with 3 volcanoes (one of them dormant but who knows), with a flower that is the only one of its kind in the road, is sweet and fun, but unfortunately there wasn't a fun story to go along with it. I'm not sure what age kids would like this book. Maybe junior high schoolers who write poetry? It's now a classic of sorts so obviously it does speak to a lot of people, but not to me.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


tediousandbrief said...

I felt similarly reading it. I read it well after college and I thought it was just ok and probably would be better if I had been younger when I read it.

Julie P. said...

I have to admit that I've never read it, but I can't actually say that I want to now. :)

Louise said...

I read this book a few years ago before I started blogging. I had a reaction a bit like yours, bemused, I didn't get it either. I certainly wanted to- it's a French classic, and I'm enough of a Francophile to be happy to have read it for merely that reason. I was hoping to get more out of the experience though.