School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—Saint-Exupéry's little prince, interplanetary traveler and ingenuous seeker of that which is most important in life, returns in an elegant pop-up edition with unabridged text. The original artwork has been repositioned and redesigned to incorporate movable sculptures, turning wheels, and other visual effects. Almost every spread features an illustration, each carefully placed to add to the story's pacing and augment its impact. For example, readers' first glimpse of the little prince's tiny planet is dramatically presented via an illustration that spins upright as the page is turned. The boy's recounting of his relationship with his beloved yet vexing flower is made more immediate through a series of sequenced flaps, each harboring a tiny pop-up image. A towering 3-D depiction of the protagonist posed atop a mountain peak underscores his sense of loneliness. Delineated with a delicate touch, the paper engineering adds a new dimension to this wistful fairy tale without overpowering it, enhancing the story's subtleties and echoing its sense of wonder.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
This unabridged edition of the classic story about the prince from a tiny planet “hardly bigger than a house” integrates the original illustrations into pop-ups, wheels, and flaps. The text is gracefully balanced against the interactive elements as the Prince shares his story: flaps reveal images like the drawing of a sheep that the narrator makes for him, and delicate pop-ups feature characters he's met, like the clownlike lamp lighter. The pleasing visual effects are subtle, but add an appropriate sense of magic. Ages 9–12. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Young Osment (The Sixth Sense; Pay It Forward) again proves his mettle as an actor, giving voice to the Little Prince in this crisp, full-cast production of the literary classic. He approaches the role with a gentleness and sensitivity that touches the heart and never sounds maudlin. As the pilot whose plane has crashed in the Sahara, Gere plays it low-key, creating a perfect partner for Osment's interplanetary-traveling, wise-beyond-his-years prince. Gere expresses just the right mix of amusement and bewilderment as the prince interrupts the pilot's efforts to repair his plane with a request that he draw a sheep. The adept performances capture the timeless nature of Saint-Exup ry's fable about how a child sees the important things in life much more clearly than many adults do. All ages. (Dec.) FYI: Last year marked the 100th anniversary of Saint-Exup ry's birth. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Those of us concerned with quality preschool literature long for the demise of inappropriate books repackaged into board books. With the publication of four slip-cased board books based on the classic allegory The Little Prince (Friends of the Little Prince, Counting With the Little Prince, A Day With the Little Prince, and I Am the Little Prince/Je Suis Le Petit Prince), one hopes the end is near. On the surface, I Am the Little Prince seems to employ good board book design elements: brief text printed on nursery-pastel backgrounds, watercolor illustrations on contrasting white backgrounds. So far so good. Closer examination reveals that some of the art retains it original clarity while others parts are poorly reproduced. Besides murky illustrations, the bilingual text and art don't always work together. On one page the text reads: "I live on a small planet./J'habite sur petite planete." The accompanying illustration shows the Little Prince standing on his lumpy planet, sweeping out the fenced-in volcano. The text makes no mention of the Little Prince's actions. Children sharing this book would wonder, "What is he doing?" For this age group, illustrations should amplify the story, not go off in another direction. This is what happens when books for older children are reformatted into board books with no regard to the needs and interests of toddlers. 2003, Harcourt Red Wagon, Ages 1 to 3.
Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
The author and illustrator of this famous mid-twentieth century allegory was a World War II French airplane pilot who was shot down and killed within a year of the book's publication. This handsome edition of a much-loved book that has, since its publication in 1943, been translated into eighty different languages and read in more than 180 countries has been given added stature by the quality of this new version. The French designers have used heavy, uncoated (not shiny) paper for a book that is about 8" by 12" by 2," and printed on white, red, black, and yellow sheets. All of the illustrations which are copies of Sainte-Exupery's original drawings for the first edition have been done in ink and water colors and have been engineered to become enchanting pop-ups! The fable is told in the first person by a narrator/pilot who, after a crash landing in the Sahara Dessert, meets the Little Prince who is from another much smaller planet. As the two become friends the little prince describes his travels among other planets he has visited and the people he has met who lived there. Not surprisingly, as the story was written during war time, the qualities displayed by the occupants of the other planets include vanity, greed, power, and blindly following directions. The time covered by the book is only eight days, which is how long it takes the pilot to repair his plane, but it is enough time for the pilot to come to care deeply for the little prince. This is an outstanding book for an adolescent to take into adulthood, for an adult who knew it and loved it, or for anyone who has never known it. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
Richard Gere is the principle narrator in this superbly produced CD format version of Antoine de SaintEXupery's classic children's story The Little Prince. This fifty minute production is a technically flawless audio version of a pilot stranded in the desert and wakening one morning to see before him a little fellow who captures the hearts and imaginations of all who read (and now hear) this remarkable modern fable. Haley Joel Osment gives voice to the Little Prince, while Marina Orsini, Adam Frost, Richard Allen, Dave Walsh, Ara Y. Kentenjian, Patrick Selitz, and Mickey Kessler lend their talents to this multicast production, with music by AleXxandre Stankevicius. The Little Prince is highly entertaining, enthusiastically recommended, and a "must" for school and community library audiobook CD collections.
"[E]yes are blind. You have to look with the heart," says the little prince, which makes this pop-up edition of the 1943 classic a bit of an odd duck. De Saint-Exupery's minimalist illustrations become full-color paper-engineered elements in a blown-up, two-inch-thick unabridged edition. Flaps lift, figures pop, tableaux emerge in ingenious fashion, creating a reading experience as surreal as the story. But the tension between text and image inherent in any illustrated book is exacerbated to the nth degree here, as the beguiling doodads beckon readers to race through the pages, leaving the story they're meant to illustrate behind. The contemplative fable is turned into a mere excuse for paper whimsy, the fun of making the prince turn to meet the fox overriding the wonder of the interaction. Too cool for its own good. (Pop-up/fiction. 10 & up)
From the Publisher
The Little Prince
"A lovely story...which covers a poetic, yearning philosophy—not the sort of fable that can be tacked down neatly at its four corners but rather reflections on what are real matters of consequence." —The New York Times Book Review
"Saint-Exupéry's most famous work -- a gentle fable of love and peace -- contains a thoughtful assessment of the details of its composition...[T]he special allure of the work is still the naively sophisticated, heartwarming tale of the little prince and his small planet." —Horn Book
“This new translation into 'modern' English brings a classic tale into sharper focus for today's teens without sacrificing the beauty and simplicity of the author's writing, and the 'restored' artwork has all the charm of the original drawings. What appears to be a simple tale of two lost souls-one, a pilot marooned in the desert next to his ditched plane; the other, a minuscule prince in self-imposed exile from an asteroid so small that he can watch the sunset 44 times a day-reveals itself as something far more complex. What appears to be a fairy tale for children opens like the petals of the Little Prince's flower into a fantasy that has lessons for all of us.” —School Library Journal
“Always welcome is that charming visitor from another planet, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince...The fable remains as lyrically haunting as ever.” —Publishers Weekly
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
It has been years since I read this classic book, and it was nice to revisit the story of the stranded pilot and the little boy who falls to earth and befriends him. This edition is sleeker in appearance than earlier editions, with a metallic black cover and a picture of the Little Prince in silhouette holding onto a flock of birds. The translation was done by Richard Howard for a 2000 edition, and there have been no additional changes. The story is told in a straightforward manner, rather than the more flowery 1953 text. The primary additions to the book are the cover art and an introduction by Gregory Maguire (Wicked) that reflects on his feelings about being asked to write the introduction. As a great fan of Maguire, I would gladly read his laundry lists for entertainment. There is a short biography of Saint-Exupery appended to the text, and a good list of discussion questions. It would appear that the main reason for the new edition is to align the book with Common Core curriculum goals. A set of essay questions is included at a RL 7.5 to RL 8.4 level, but the questions sound like "Blue Book" essays for a college freshman English class. Taken on its own, this book remains, as always, a lovely allegory for childhood innocence and maturation-caused changes in our perception of simple pleasures such as seeing the stars or nurturing a flower. The illustrations are reproductions of the original Saint-Exupery watercolors in all of their simplicity and innocence. This is a necessary purchase only for schools that need to meet Common Core standards, or those who somehow find themselves without another version. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross