Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince (TLP) was written and illustrated in 1943 by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry and has become a much loved classic for children and readers of all ages. It became the template for many simple but profound books, such as Jonathon Livingston Seagull. Read it; you’ll love it; then, share it with your children.
In TLP, a pilot, who has crashed in the desert, awakens to find an extraordinary little fellow, The Little Prince, who asks the pilot to “draw me a sheep”, and a fascinating fable unfolds, in which The Little Prince discusses his experiences on nine planets (eight tiny “planets” (or asteroids), including his own, as well as planet-Earth), and, he uses each to reveal what is important in life. The dominant theme is that we shall never understand life’s mysteries and that, whatever makes life beautiful, comes from within; our eyes are blind to what really matters; everything important is invisible to the eyes, and, therefore, we can see clearly only with our hearts. He put it unforgettably as follows:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), this lover of people, life, adventure and books, authored nine books, of which TLP is by far the best known. His greatest book, in this reader’s view, is Wind, Sand and Stars (1939), a gripping autobiography coupled with spell-binding biographies of the pilots who pioneered flight in the 1920’s-1940’s. Both TLP and WSS continue to sell in bookstores worldwide. Saint-Exupéry disappeared, a year after publication of TLP, while flying a reconnaissance mission for the French Air Force in the Mediterranean in 1944, but such a soul as Saint-Exupéry will never die, as long as books are read. His goodness and wisdom eternal, and we can always “see” them with our hearts.