The Little Prince probably needs neither preamble, introduction, nor plot synopsis; so I will keep the book-specific details to a minimum.
I will say that I had never read the story until late last year. If I had stumbled upon a blog, I would have needed all that preamble and explanation. Being in the minority there, I will spare you this time, gentle reader.
I have two friends who are obsessed with the story. Never mind that most of the world is obsessed with it, also I was in French class in high school, also I have been to France and seen, with my own eyes, this little prince. Still, after all that exposure, it never dawned on me to actually read the book. I am constantly finding myself behind in that way, lost to the wonders that most of the world has come to rely on. Back to my friends specifically though; one just did her first child’s baby room in The Little Prince colors and themes, and one gave me a copy of the book last year to read as my introduction. She had many copies as I have many copies of The Hobbit.
I admit, I enjoyed the book; but mainly read it quickly, so I could tell her that I’d read her favorite book. To allow her that special moment of knowing something that she cares about deeply was taken into consideration by someone new to it. I have an issue with reading too quickly just to get books off my plate and out of my to-be-read-stack. That’s something I’ve been trying to address this year. It was unfair of me then to read this in order to finish it rather than to enjoy it. Especially knowing how important it is to the reader who gifted it to me. This same friend and I are in a bookclub at work and she chose The Little Price to be our second October read of this year. I was excited to read again, and told her that I was mostly looking forward to reading it with questions in mind. Experiencing it for bookclub and keeping blog questions in mind would force me into a slower rhythm. Dipping beneath the surface to fish for topics and themes for discussion allowed me to think beyond plot points. Which is, again, something I need.
All plots from all books run together at all times. Frequently, I spoil endings by asking, “Is that the one where her husband and son are actually dead – or the one where the neighbor’s son is the one who killed the woman?” I just can’t keep things straight. It seems all thrillers are the same all fantasy is the same etc. It crossed genres too though. Once I was reading two books at the same time (another issue I am trying to address). One was high fantasy and one a memoir, both had scenes on bridges that panned out almost exactly the same. I was so confused because all of a sudden my genres were bleeding and I couldn’t remember which character was a prisoner and which had lost his memory because both wound up on seemingly the same bridge! I think if I focused more on one book at a time and enjoying the one thing, this may happen less frequently.
All this long-winded typing (something I should be working on) is to say that I adored this book. I am sad that I didn’t read it with intention the first time. It’s more than a children’s book. It’s more than a story of a silly boy who asks too many questions. It is a story that teaches us how to live. What is important, what it truly means to care about things of consequence. I think I have a better idea now of what should be considered a thing of great consequence.
Discussion questions below. Also, please comment with your favorite quote(s) from the book. I had so many.
Can you think of a time from childhood where you had to explain something you thought was completely logical to an adult who didn’t understand? Have you ever been the adult that doesn’t understand?
Discuss quotes about imagination. When do you think children become adults and lose that trait? Does it happen to every person?
What do you think he means when the prince says people who go straight ahead, they don’t get very far.
Do you think people must ‘own’ something to be able to truly admire it? Discuss the star story from the book and think about things that we try to take control over today even though we can’t.
Do you agree with the idea that fleeting things are perhaps more beautiful than things that last? Give examples of both types of beauty.
The desert flower said men have no roots and so the wind blows them anywhere. Discuss the idea of holding steadfast, but also of being flexible.
The word tame in this story is a synonym for love. Do you think that’s accurate?
Think of an important place, person, and possession of yours. What is most important about it that is not a tangible, visible thing? Something invisible to the eye.