Stephen's Reviews > The Little Prince

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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bookshelves: audiobook, childrens, classics, 1930-1953, fantasy

A "Daddy/Daughter nighttime reading hour" review

This was a toughy for me to review. I wasn't sure of the best perspective from which to provide comments so as to be of assistance to my fellow readers since this is a children's book (rather than YA which would be reviewed purely on its own merits). After a short session of "what should I do," I bravely decided to punt, figuring that there are already more than enough excellent reviews of this without my clogging up the cyber arteries with another one. Therefore, I decided simply to share my experience of reading/listening to the book with my daughter along with a couple of thoughts on the concepts discussed in the story and hope that you can take something useful from it.

So as part of our nightly routine, my youngest daughter, Sydney, and I have daddy/princess read time. The other night, she and I listened to the audio version of The Little Prince while we read along with a copy of the book. As usual, it was an AMAZING experience. I am convinced that I learn more about the stories we read from her and her reactions to the narrative than she does from me...and I love it.

It's only a two hour audio (86 pages) and yet the two of us spent close to 4 hours listening and talking about the various chapters in the story (plus a brief 15 minute break for Mom to give her a bath while Dad helped big sister Kenzie with her math homework). Sydney had all kinds of questions (some just hysterically funny in how much sense they made from a kid-centric view of the world). We would stop the story after each planet or character to talk about what she thought the story meant and what messages the story was trying to deliver.
For those of you with children, you know how wonderful this can be and I was on the ninth cloud watching my little girl ponder over the book.

From this perspective, the story was perfect and deserves an easy 5 stars. However, since it's not very helpful to rate a book based on that kind of non-transferable experience, I didn't want to rely solely on that for its final rating.

After explaining to Syd the goodreads star system, she would give this 4 stars as she really liked the British accent of the narrator and the crazy adventures the Prince experiences on the various planets. BTW, from Sydney's point of view, 4 stars is the absolute ceiling for any book dealing with ickies like boys and this would easily earn 5 stars had the story been called the "The Little Princess." Princes are still second class citizens at this stage in her life...and Dad is oh, oh, OH so perfectly fine with that).

For me, looking at this sans Sydney, I liked it but was not smitten with it enough to go higher than 3 stars. The story is well written and has something to say about the human condition and how people spend too much of their lives focusing on the wrong things and not enough time enjoying where they are. A nice message and one I was happy to expose Sydney to, but I was not always enamored with the path the author took to get there.

Overall, a good read on its own and a potentially a great experience if shared with your children...as most things in life are.

3.5 stars.
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Reading Progress

August 15, 2010 – Shelved
December 2, 2010 – Started Reading
December 2, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)

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message 1: by Jackie (new)

Jackie That sounds like a great time you had with your daughter. Asking questions enhances the experience. I used to do that with my son when we read together or when he had to read a book in high school. And I'd ask his friends questions about the book also. Some great conversations were spawned from books.


Stephen I am sure I love the "shared" reading even more than my girls do. I am looking forward to reading the Chronicles of Narnia with them as I have not loved the books as much as others seem to and I am hoping to gain a better appreciation of them through their "eyes."


message 3: by Jackie (new)

Jackie That's a good idea, since it is a children's book...sort of.


Stephen Brian wrote: "Glad to see you are sharing your love of reading with your kids!"

Yes, reading is a big part of our nighttime routine. My 11 year old just started To Kill a Mockingbird and my youngest is plowing through her 15th Junie B. Jones book. Dad is very proud. Now if I can just get their mom to try A Game of Thrones, my life will be complete.


Kwesi 章英狮 I like the book but I can't understand the true message of the author.


Cassy Such a sweet review! I read this book in French at age 20 and think I missed the overall message. But I didn't find it entertaining enough to try again in English and really think it through. Oh well. Maybe I will read it with children in the future.


Stephen Cassy wrote: "Such a sweet review! I read this book in French at age 20 and think I missed the overall message. But I didn't find it entertaining enough to try again in English and really think it through. Oh we..."

Thanks, Cassy. I tend to gush whenever my girls are involved in the conversation.


message 8: by Lauraadriana (new)

Lauraadriana Lovely review. Isn't it the best when their eyes light up from listening to a story? :O)


Stephen Lauraadriana wrote: "Lovely review. Isn't it the best when their eyes light up from listening to a story? :O)"

Definitely. Both my girls are reading a lot more now which I just love.


Jenne Thanks for reminding me of this little gem. I read this in the original french back in my teens (we read it in school). I do remember it was an odd, sad story. I plan to share it with my daughter after she is born and old enough to appreciate it, although I think I'll stick to the English for her! I also got to see a wonderful stage production when on a trip to Paris some years back.


message 11: by seak (new)

seak After reading this review I can't wait to read this book to my little guy. He's only 16 months right now, so we're not quite ready for more than pictures.


Stephen Jenne -

I wish I could read it in the original French, but I am barely literate in English. I hope you have a great experience reading it with your daughter.


Stephen Seak wrote: "After reading this review I can't wait to read this book to my little guy. He's only 16 months right now, so we're not quite ready for more than pictures."

Ah.. I remember those time very fondly. Well, you have something great to look forward to in a couple years.


Jenne Stephen wrote: "Jenne -

I wish I could read it in the original French, but I am barely literate in English. I hope you have a great experience reading it with your daughter."


Lol. I remember struggling with the french at the time, but our teacher wouldn't let us read it in English.


message 15: by Riku (new) - rated it 5 stars

Riku Sayuj I think the fact that you classified this classic as a children's book degraded it in your opinion. Try to look at it as a philosophy book stacked next to a kant and imagine that the message of the book is as difficult to extract. Would you still feel it is YA?

Even though I am blasphemed by your description of the book, I loved your review because of how cute your daughter sounds and how wonderful it is that you spend 4 hours reading to her and discussing a wonderful book. Hope she might also pick it up again when she is in her 20s and draw life lessons from it like I did...


message 16: by Kiri (new)

Kiri Loved your and your daughter's review. I think I'll have to pick this up and finally read it in English at last. I hope it keeps the same harmony as it has in French. =) Then again I haven't read it since I was a very little girl. Do you look forward to sharing any other series [than Narnia] with your daughters?


Stephen Riku wrote: "I think the fact that you classified this classic as a children's book degraded it in your opinion. Try to look at it as a philosophy book stacked next to a kant and imagine that the message of th..."

Thank you, Riku. I appreciate your comments and will certainly give the book another chance and try to look at it from a different perspective. It is certainly possible that I came into this with clouded expectations.


Stephen Kiri wrote: "Loved your and your daughter's review. I think I'll have to pick this up and finally read it in English at last. I hope it keeps the same harmony as it has in French. =) Then again I haven't read..."

Thank you, Kiri. I have read a number of other books with my daughters that I don't always specifically mention. My youngest (now 6) has a particular fondness for Harry Potter, the Narnia books, Odd and the Frost Giant (by Neil Gaiman) and The Ice Dragon (by George R.R. Martin). Fortunately, these are all books that Dad likes too so reading time has been great fun of late.


message 19: by jesse (last edited Dec 06, 2011 02:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

jesse when did you start reading to your daughters? when they were wee midgets, still in their nappies? i tried to excite my nephew with a picture book and he was so confused and started to cry ^^


message 20: by Sesana (new)

Sesana Joe wrote: "when did you start reading to your daughters? when they were wee midgets, still in their nappies? i tried to excite my nephew with a picture book and he was so confused and started to cry ^^"

All kids are different. My niece has been read to almost since the day she was born. As a wee baby, that meant very colorful books with few words to the page. (Boom Chicka Boom, off the top of my head) Around 10 months or so she got really into tactile books, like Pat the Bunny or the That's Not My... series.


Stephen Joe wrote: "when did you start reading to your daughters? when they were wee midgets, still in their nappies? i tried to excite my nephew with a picture book and he was so confused and started to cry ^^"

Yes, I sactually tarted reading with them before they could even hold their head up (though I was mostly reading my books to them then and luring them into the clutches of the Sandman with the droning on an don of my voice. Picture books came after about six months.


Stephen Sesana wrote: "All kids are different. My niece has been read to almost since the day she was born. As a wee baby, that meant very colorful books with few words to the page. (Boom Chicka Boom, off the top of my head).."

Boom Chicka Boom was a favorite of my older girl.


message 23: by jesse (new) - rated it 1 star

jesse Stephen wrote: "Sesana wrote: "All kids are different. My niece has been read to almost since the day she was born. As a wee baby, that meant very colorful books with few words to the page. (Boom Chicka Boom, off ..."

oh, good to know. any other picture books you guys recommend? ready? set? go!


message 24: by Sesana (new)

Sesana Little Critter! My niece is the girliest girly girl on the face of the planet, and she loves Little Critter. Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear I must have read her a thousand times, but everything of his is good. Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth was another favorite for a long time. She also loved Arthur. Other than that, stick with their interests. I could read her practically anything as long as it had babies in it.


message 25: by jesse (last edited Dec 06, 2011 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

jesse Sesana wrote: "Little Critter! My niece is the girliest girly girl on the face of the planet, and she loves Little Critter. Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear I must have read her a thousand times, but everythin..."

duly noted. thanks a bunch. :)


Apatt Great review, great selection. I love the drawings in this book (not the audio version obviously).


Stephen Apatt wrote: "Great review, great selection. I love the drawings in this book (not the audio version obviously)."

Thanks, Apatt. I agree about the drawings...they are wonderful.


Shayantani Das This is the sweetest review ever: D
I remember my daddy reading me books when I was young. I usually dozed off before he completed 2 pages. My grandmothers had better luck trying. It was still a memorable experience.


Stephen Tanu wrote: "This is the sweetest review ever: D
I remember my daddy reading me books when I was young. I usually dozed off before he completed 2 pages. My grandmothers had better luck trying. It was still a m..."


Thanks, Tanu. I'm sure I got even more out of the experience than my daughter did.


message 30: by Sweetp (new)

Sweetp just read some of your comments and realise never read narnia but I will try as liked bbc version.


message 31: by Laia (new)

Laia Thanks for sharing this sweet review. I would like to mention that I found the older English translation much better than the newer one that is out. So did my kids. So much so that I would say it isn't worth reading until you can get your hands on an older version.

I put Odd and the Frost Giants and The Ice Dragon on my reading list for with my 10 y.o. Thanks!

Also, just want to add a couple favorite picture books...Goodnight Gorilla, I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont, Maybe a Bear Ate It, I Will Surprise My Friend (and other Mo Willems books), The Monster at The End of This Book (starring love able, furry old Grover)


Cynthia I LOVED hearing your daughter's review! Nicely done! My experience of the book is also the memories of reading it aloud many years ago with my room mates in university and now with the children in my life.


message 33: by Amber (new)

Amber Best review iv ever read, it was a story in itself :)


message 34: by Roice (last edited Jan 25, 2014 06:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roice Tayag Good review. But The Little Prince isn't a children's book at all, though it may look like it is. If you read it thoroughly, you will find a lot of symbolism and metaphors. Maybe if you did not use an audio book, you'd understand what i'm saying. Still, this is a pretty nice review. Good job!:)


Mahsati I agree with Roice Tayag..its not a children's book. It carries a strong message in it for matured ppl..child won't notice that. Just read this, " “The men where you live,” said the little prince, “raise five thousand roses
in the same garden– and they do not find in it what they are looking for.”
“They do not find it,” I replied.
“And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in
a little water.”
“Yes, that is true,” I said.
And the little prince added:
“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart...” ..


message 36: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Thank you for this review. I came here to assess this book for the very purpose of a Mommy/Son bedtime reading experience, so for me at least, your experience and review was completely "transferable" information. Thanks!


Davut Gürbüz The grownups are odd sometimes :) thanks for your review.


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