My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What to say about this novel that has not already been said?
It is magical.
The first time I read this book, I was a child. In it I found a lost prince finding out that adults do not have the answers he was looking for. It made adult life look, well, rather boring and uninviting.
I loved it instantly. Here was a thought that maybe all the grownups around me did not have the whole thing figured out. It made me ask hard questions. I remember taking the book to my mom when I was reading about the business man. I asked her if she agreed that the man was being silly spending all of his time counting the stars. When she agreed, I asked her why her and pop argued about money then. To me, numbers and business was the same as money. She had no answer aside from “needing it to live.” It was an answer that I could not understand.
Over the years, I have come back to this book time and again. Every time I reread it, it once again becomes my favorite. It has been with me through childhood, adolescence, and now my twenties. And the true beauty of this novel, is that it grows BETTER with every read. You learn more. You question more. You understand more.
As an adult, I find myself remembering wonderful lessons that we instinctively knew as children…things that we find hard to remember in the neediful adulthood. Additionally, I find myself able to apply an old phrase to a new concept because I have experienced or questioned something different. It is a complex and ever growing philosophic tome cleverly disguised as a children’s book.
I recommend this book for people of all ages and at all walks of life. I highly encourage you to read it whenever you want to have a big think or a nod of encouragement from straying from what is “normal” or even “acceptable.” Never let yourself be pinned down or defined by someone else.
Below are a few lessons I love to remember:
Take care of problems when they are small and manageable rather than waiting for them to grow big.
“Before they grow so big, the baobabs start out by being little.”
“That is strictly correct,” I said. “But why do you want the sheep to eat the little baobabs?”
He answered me at once, “Oh, come, come!”, as if he were speaking of something that was self-evident.
Be careful what you say. Words have the power to change everything.
He had taken seriously words which were without importance, and it made him very unhappy.
Be reasonable in your instruction and judge yourself first.
“If Your Majesty wishes to be promptly obeyed,” he said, “he should be able to give me a reasonable order.
Do not take yourself so very seriously. There are beauties waiting to be noticed.
“I manage them. I count them and then count them again. It’s difficult work. But I’m a serious person.”
Do not allow a fake solution to a problem become the real problem.
“Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince.
“So that I may forget,” replied the tippler.
“Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.
“Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
“Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
“Ashamed of drinking!”
You can find friends in the most unlikely places and should treasure them.
“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .”
Care carefully for what you have as none can be replaced.
“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”
Know when to let those you love fly free to find their own way.
“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night . . . You–only you–will have stars that can laugh![…] And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you . . .”