“This is my secret. It’s very simple. You only see clearly with your heart. The most important things are invisible to the eyes.”
This is the most charming book I have ever read. It is also surprisingly poignant and sad given that it is literally the smallest book I have ever seen and is written for children. In short, a man whose plane crashes in the desert comes across a small, golden haired boy who used to live on Asteroid B 612 – it is important to name and number these sorts of things, as it helps adults to understand and value them. Exploring several other planets in search of a friend, the little prince encounters men who try to rule everything, own everything, be the best at everything and embody in short the worst aspects of human nature. When he lands on Earth he meets a snake, a fox and a human pilot – the storyteller.
This is a short book, and within its limited pages it covers the biases and beliefs that make adults so blind to the real, emotional value of life. Children are unhindered by this, if a child draws an elephant inside a snake and an adult thinks it is a hat, this is the failing of the adult and not the child. It is a book that views adult problems through the eyes of a small, alien child and deems them suitably stupid. The value of a flower is not in its complete uniqueness, but in the love you put into it. Something I will attest to having somehow kept the same succulent alive for five years and believing it to be the best plant ever despite its relatively unremarkable appearance.
“It’s something you have to do every day,” the little prince explained later. “Once you’ve brushed your hair and cleaned your teeth, then you clean your planet.”
This book was unexpectedly deep, and the ending left me a little sad. Having then gone on to read about De Saint-Exupéry himself and finding the life of a man who felt cut off from the world, I felt that perhaps The Little Prince was a much more personal book than I’d originally imagined. A poignant little read, I’d recommend it if you want something short that you can theorise about. Just remember, the whole universe can be changed by whether or not a lamb has eaten a flower on a distant star too far away to see.
Overall rating: 📖📖📖📖📖 5 books out of5