So what would you expect from a librarian?! The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is a favorite because of its many layers of meaning. On the surface (it’s even shelved in the “Juvenile” section of the library) it is “just” a nice children’s story. But the author drew on experiences in his own life, rendering it somewhat autobiographical. More importantly, it has become “the most read and most translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects, as well as braille, and selling over a million copies per year with sales totalling more than 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published.”(Wikipedia entry). It is MY personal favorite because of its insightful, thought-provoking, heart-warming, life-changing (yes! Life-changing!) prose.
We were on the Safari Tour in Walt Disney World’s Adventureland this summer with our 5 grandchildren and when I saw the baobab trees, I immediately thought of the Little Prince, and his advice that “Sometimes there is no harm in putting off a piece of work until another day. But when it is a matter of baobabs, that always means a catastrophe.” It is a prompt for introspection and diligence in rooting out the baobabs in my life while they are yet tiny shoots, before they become gigantic trees.
The Little Prince is a family favorite as well, as I read it often to my children when they were young. So now it is a layer of bonding between us–those silent nods and winks of understanding when something sparks a recollection from this book. Highly recommended reading!