The Little Prince Graphic Novel

Overview

For over sixty-five years Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince has captured the hearts and minds of its readers. The whimsical story with a fairy tale touch has sold over 80 million copies in 230 languages. This exciting graphic adaptation features beautiful, new artwork by Joann Sfar. Hand-chosen by Saint-Exupéry's French publishers for his literary style and sensitivity to the original, Sfar has endeavored to recreate this beloved story, both honoring the original and stretching it to new heights. ...

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Overview

For over sixty-five years Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince has captured the hearts and minds of its readers. The whimsical story with a fairy tale touch has sold over 80 million copies in 230 languages. This exciting graphic adaptation features beautiful, new artwork by Joann Sfar. Hand-chosen by Saint-Exupéry's French publishers for his literary style and sensitivity to the original, Sfar has endeavored to recreate this beloved story, both honoring the original and stretching it to new heights. A vibrant, visual gift for longtime fans and those experiencing the story for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Celebrated French cartoonist Sfar turns in a wonderful and lovely comics adaptation of Saint-Exupéry's timeless classic. The Little Prince is such a beloved staple of children's literature that an adaptation might seem inadvisable; indeed, part of the original book's lasting charm is the inclusion of Saint-Exupéry's own naïve but unforgettable illustrations. But Sfar has wisely incorporated Saint-Exupéry's role as an illustrator by foregrounding the book's presentation as a first-person narrative. Sfar depicts a very authentic-looking, middle-aged Saint-Exupéry--briefly chided in the book's text for smoking "in a book for young people"--as the book's protagonist, the title character's interlocutor, and the person drawing the elephant-inside-the-boa-constrictor in his notepad. The graphic novel's text conveys the wisdom of the original book, in which a childlike perspective illuminates the absurdity of adult living while attaining its own hard-won maturity. Sfar's loose but masterful art supplements the book's themes with a supple visual style that appears accessibly artless on its surface, but occasionally blossoms into symbolism and abstraction. The book abounds with individual panels that are profound in their meaning and striking in their simplicity. Ages 9–12. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"There is always the question of whether this story is best suited for children or adults, but legions of admirers prove that it sits in the rarified air of literature that works both ways. A worthy tribute that's most worthy of its own share of applause."—Booklist, starred review

"The graphic novel's text conveys the wisdom of the original book, in which a childlike perspective illuminates the absurdity of adult living while attaining its own hard-won maturity. Sfar's loose but masterful art supplements the book's themes with a supple visual style that appears accessibly artless on its surface, but occasionally blossoms into symbolism and abstraction. The book abounds with individual panels that are profound in their meaning and striking in their simplicity."—Publishers Weekly, starred review


"[Sfar's] adaptation is as classic as the original, and it will bring this quiet yet thought-provoking story to a new generation of readers. The format will be especially attractive to teens who might have missed this story when they were children, and to adults who are interested in revisiting their own childhood memories."—School Library Journal , starred review

"This unique adaptation combines fable and social commentary, luring readers to consider stereotype, racism (in the account of the Turkish astronomer whose discovery of an asteroid was ignored by European scientists because of his Eastern culture), and respect for our environment. Those taking time to pore over the manga-influenced artwork will feel the Little Prince's frustration at the adults who refuse to take him seriously, the sorrow that comes from adults isolating themselves, and the joy of seeing the world through a child's imagination."— VOYA

Praise for Le Petit Prince Graphic Novel, French Edition
 
"This life-long artist has chosen a simple layout to focus on the adventures of these two characters who share the dreams of millions of kids. Sfar keeps our childish dreams intact." —Ca Se Passe Comme Ca
 
 “Always prolific, always generous, always sensitive, Sfar has succeeded in giving life to the aviator and his Petit Prince. Any successful adaptation is a revelation. This is faithful to the text, but the aesthetics of Sfar…reveal the full dimension of melancholy and contemplation [in the story]. Sfar joins [Saint-Exupe´ry]… ‘a thousand miles from any human habitation’… where only children can venture.” —Lire Magazine
 

Praise for 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
 
Praise for The Little Prince (1993)
 
"An edition of 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." —The Horn Book
 
Praise for The Little Prince (2000 hardcover edition)
 
“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
 
Praise for The Little Prince: Sixtieth-Anniversary Gift Edition
 
“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

VOYA - Jay Wise
Acclaimed artist and writer, Sfar presents a fictionalized account of the plane crash that led Antoine de Saint-Exupery to create his classic tale The Little Prince, presented in graphic novel format. A lone pilot repairing his plane following a desert crash meets a precocious young child who asks him to draw pictures. Over the course of their conversation, the child tells the pilot he has come to earth from a small planet not much bigger than a house. The Little Prince shares his love and devotion in caring for his home's lone flower, moving on to recount his adventures with other characters in the universe representing authority, vanity, shame and greed. In an ironic twist, the fox (usually the trickster) shares the moral of the story with the Little Prince: "You can only see clearly with the heart. What matters is invisible to the eye." This unique adaptation combines fable and social commentary, luring readers to consider stereotype, racism (in the account of the Turkish astronomer whose discovery of an asteroid was ignored by European scientists because of his Eastern culture), and respect for our environment. Those taking time to pore over the manga-influenced artwork will feel the Little Prince's frustration at the adults who refuse to take him seriously, the sorrow that comes from adults isolating themselves, and the joy of seeing the world through a child's imagination. This engaging title needs pushing but has appeal to tween, teen and adult alike. Reviewer: Jay Wise
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
It may seem to be the ultimate conceit to transform this beloved classic into a graphic novel. But Sfar has accomplished this quite successfully while showing great respect for the original. The integrity of the story of the encounter between a downed airplane pilot and the waif-like Prince from an unknown tiny planet is intact. The translation retains the flavor of Richard Howard's translation of The Little Prince (Harcourt, 2000) and while much of the narrative is omitted, the dialog carries the story with ease. The full-color drawings detail the eight-day adventure and the illustrations of the inhabitants of the four planets visited by the Little Prince before he came to Earth are witty and eccentric. The Little Prince in his green jumpsuit and tousled blonde hair is maybe a little too doe-eyed but nonetheless he is endearing. It is possible that this graphic novel with its colorful panels and simple text may reach a larger audience than the familiar novel format. Purists may object to this treatment of the well-loved fable and in no way should it ever replace Saint-Exupery's slim volume. As a supplement to the beloved classic it is an excellent choice for children and adults alike. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—This timeless story of a man who meets a mysterious boy in the middle of the desert is one that has been enjoyed by readers of all ages for more than 65 years. The man is young at heart, strongly influenced by the memories of his own childhood. He loves to draw although he isn't very good at it, and his art helps him form an emotional bond with the boy. The child appears to be young but has a very old soul. He loves to talk, think, and ask questions. He also has the strength to face a sacrifice that the man cannot. The original story was illustrated by Saint-Exupéry, which makes this modern transition into graphic-novel form especially seamless. Sfar is very respectful of the original writing and illustrations, but his simple yet nuanced artwork brings another layer of depth to the story, his use of shadows and close-ups reinforcing the mood of this piece. His adaptation is as classic as the original, and it will bring this quiet yet thought-provoking story to a new generation of readers. The format will be especially attractive to teens who might have missed this story when they were children, and to adults who are interested in revisiting their own childhood memories. Also available in French (ISBN 978-0-547-44330-0; $22.).—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

A prolific comic-book artist tackles the beloved standard of French children's literature in graphic form with middling results. As if taking his cues from the late Antoine de Saint-Exupéry himself, Sfar approaches hissource material with no small degree of deference. The text is reproduced nearly verbatim, andthe artist takes great pains to faithfully render the intricately detailed illustrations Saint-Exupéry imagined (and stated in the text).If anything, Sfar may be too true to the original. His drawings are charmingly competent, but they lack creativity. This version of the doe-eyed prince, though clearly partaking of the illustrator's unique aesthetic, isn't really anythingreaders haven't seen many times before. The haunting landscapes of Saint-Exupéry's surreal wonderland might seem the stuff of which illustrators dream, but these fall unusually flat. Standard six-per-page panels might have been interwoven with alternate perspectives and formats; without such relief, this adaptation plods. A rare miss from an otherwise adept and engaging artist; opt for the original and an evening under the stars. (Graphic classic. 8 & up)

Dan Kois
Sfar's comic may well appeal to real kids more than the original does. Its philosophical pronouncements, while wise as ever, are gently embedded in the story rather than acting as punctuation marks on each short chapter. Sfar transforms Saint-Exupéry's voice—still a bit stuffy for kids, a bit snide for adults—into a living person, who dearly loves his Little Prince…For children, Sfar's comic represents an excellent point of entry for a well-known work. For grown-ups, it serves as an ode to the author who brought the Little Prince into the world just a year before he, too, disappeared, gone without a trace.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547338026
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/18/2010
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 453,860
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, the "Winged Poet," was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. A pilot at twenty-six, he was a pioneer of commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. His writings include The Little Prince , Wind, Sand and Stars , Night Flight , Southern Mail , and Airman's Odyssey . In 1944, while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, he disappeared over the Mediterranean.


Joann Sfar is a French comic artist and author of The Rabbi's Cat, Little Vampire Goes to School (a New York Times best-seller), and the Eisner Award-winning Little Vampire Does Kung Fu! He was awarded the Rene Goscinny Award for young comics in 1998 and has continued to garner international critical praise. He was most recently nominated for a 2007 Ignatz Award for Best Series. His original French edition of The Little Prince graphic novel was released in 2007.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Visit From The Little Prince

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 'Le Petit Prince' was written in 1943 and has become a staple in the libraries of children (and adults who has preserved their child-like reverence for the philosophy that The Little Prince expounds) throughout the world: latest statistics show that the book has been translated into 190 languages and has sold in excess of 80 million copies! This last figure is sure to change with the introduction of this new version - the same story but made in to the graphic novel format by Johann Sfar, an illustrator par excellence.

    There will doubtless be purists who prefer the original (very exquisite) illustrations for the book and feel that the presentation of the story in graphic novel format (read `comic book format') diminishes the concept of Saint-Exupéry. But the joy here is that the illustrations are so excellent and so very much in keeping with the original story, that given the chance the book will take hold of any reader and become user friendly.

    The story is so well known that it needn't be reiterated here: suffice it to summarize as `an aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life'. It is a fable so fine that it has been transformed into a film by Stanley Donen, stage play by several writers including Rick Cummins and John Scoullar, an opera by Rachel Portman, and now another art form - the graphic novel. For this reader it is successful on every level, and if anything this new edition will introduce this charming fable to millions more readers, young in years or in spirit.

    Grady Harp

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Highly recommend

    Great story book for gift giving. Story & illustrations are excellent

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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