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Comment: This book has already been well loved by someone else and that love shows. It MIGHT have highlighting, underlining, be missing a dust jacket, or SLIGHT water damage, but over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Little Prince Hardcover


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The Little Prince + A Guide for Grown-ups: Essential Wisdom from the Collected Works of Antoine de Saint-Exupry
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: The Little Prince
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st ed edition (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152023984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152023980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (627 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It's a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy as Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. And despite his tone of gentle bemusement, Saint-Exupéry pulls off some fine satiric touches, too. There's the king, for example, who commands the Little Prince to function as a one-man (or one-boy) judiciary:

I have good reason to believe that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. I hear him at night. You could judge that old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. That way his life will depend on your justice. But you'll pardon him each time for economy's sake. There's only one rat.
The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude, which never turns into Peter Pan-style treacle. Such delicacy of tone can present real headaches for a translator, and in her 1943 translation, Katherine Woods sometimes wandered off the mark, giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. Happily, Richard Howard (who did a fine nip-and-tuck job on Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma in 1999) has streamlined and simplified to wonderful effect. The result is a new and improved version of an indestructible classic, which also restores the original artwork to full color. "Trying to be witty," we're told at one point, "leads to lying, more or less." But Saint-Exupéry's drawings offer a handy rebuttal: they're fresh, funny, and like the book itself, rigorously truthful. --James Marcus

From School Library Journal

YA-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.
Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY (1900-1944) was born in Lyons, France. He took his first flight at the age of eleven, and became a pilot at twenty-six. He was a pioneer of international commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. His writings include The Little Prince; Wind, Sand and Stars; and Southern Mail. In 1944, while serving with his French air squadron, he disappeared during a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean.

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Customer Reviews

I read this book years ago, when it was gifted to me by some one I loved.
Mary F Prada
We can learn with him about true friendship, for this book really does teach about life and how to deal with it.
Cory Jean
This is a great book for children, but even more important for adults to read.
Christos Zambas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

248 of 258 people found the following review helpful By MFP on May 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Why in the world did the publisher accept this horrific and unnecessary new translation. Judge for yourself. From the 1943 Katherine Woods translation: "'As for me,' said the little prince to himself, 'If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.'" The new Richard Howard translation: "'If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked,' the little prince said to himself, 'I'd walk very slowly toward a water fountain.'" I mean ... really.
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128 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Katharine Kalweit on December 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was excited that a new translation of this lovely book was out... until I read it. This translation has eliminated most of the poetry of language that made Katherine Wood translation of Saint-Exupery's book a classic in the first place. This includes a translator's note that sounds exceedingly pompous once you have read this new translation. I would not stock this book in my library, give it as a gift, or even donate it. What a disappointment!
In contrast, the Katherine Woods translation of this book is one of the finest books to ever come my way. In beautiful, spare poetry, she relays Saint-Exupery's lessons about life, teaching us that "what is essential is invisible to the eyes."
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Eric Schaper on November 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
First of all, this is my favorite book, ever, and gets five stars. When I'm very sad or going through a difficult time, reading this little book always cheers me up and makes me feel happy. It makes the world seem right again and makes me see with my heart. And it makes me cry in that very good way we all (those who cherish this book) love so much.
However, the new translation is simply dreadful, and gets one star. It somehow manages (with a few exceptions) to miss the charm of the original at every step. The original English translation, by Katherine Woods, is a classic, and Harcourt's attempt to "improve" it seems ill-informed and gratuitous to me. I see from a number of other reviews that I'm not the only one who feels this way, so I hope that Harcourt comes to their senses and goes back to the original before it's too late. I'd hate to think that future generations will know this book only by its new translation, and will never know how exquisite it was before that.
If you've never read this book or are going to buy a copy, please get an old one (Woods translation) so as to maximize your enjoyment while at the same time foiling Harcourt's dastardly plot to destroy a classic.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A reader on June 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I grew up reading this lovely story and when the pages fell out of my original I went to Amazon for a new one.

However, the new translation took the beauty out of the story that I had felt in earlier readings, in my opinion.

The story remains a wonderful one, but I would suggest reading the Katherine Woods translation for comparison. The language in the original translation is beautiful, creative and inspiring. I felt the newer translation was less poetic.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Please, people, do not waste your time on the Richard Howard translation. It is childish, simplified, and simply awful. I really think that Richard Howard took this phenomenal, amazing book and tried to make it as devoid of meaning as he could. The new translation is almost like how a five year old would tell it- small, small words and small, small ideas.
However- I had the Katharine Woods translation before I bought this one. Do not blame this new error on the author. The Katharine Woods translation is superb. Richard Howards- Not so much.
This review has nothing to do with the book, just its differing translations.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Karen Marie on November 17, 2009
Format: Pop-Up
Opening the cover of any new book comes with a feeling of great anticipation, however, the thought of seeing how Exupery's art would be made into pop-up cut-outs accelerated that feeling into one of almost surreal joy. Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed. The illustrations are beautifully rendered and the quality of the materials are to be appreciated. I especially am grateful that the story is completely unabridged, leaving the words and the feelings to carry on to work their magic for years to come.

I've purchased an additional five copies to give as collectible gifts to others whom I know love this tale of life, love and death. It is certainly a must-have edition for any collector of pop-up books, classic children's tales or philosophical classics. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Esquire on November 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This little book is certainly one of the best-known and most popular in French literature. Though at heart a children's story, it is rightly considered a classic in its own sense and is even found within respected French literary anthologies. Its author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is also famous for other works of fiction ("Vol de Nuit" etc.). Like the narrator in "The Little Prince," St-Exupery was a pilot as well. He apparently crashed or was shot down flying as a WWII pilot towards the end of the war and was never found. His likeness, along with that of the little prince and his pet lamb and the famous drawing of the elephant in the boa-constrictor, are all on the French 50 Franc note.
The story can basically be split into two parts: The first part is the short introduction dealing with the narrator and his view of the world when he was a child and how adults could never understand the real meaning of things or perceive truth in the world--only the superficial and the usual. This is generally one of the main ideas of the book; "blessed are the children...". The rest of the book is the story of the little prince, whom the narrator discovers in the Sahara when he is trying to fix his downed airplane and is in fear of his life. The narrator and the reader slowly come to know the prince's story and learn about friendship, love and truth in a touching way. My favorite parts are those dealing with the prince's relationship with his beloved rose left on his planet and the prince's relationship with the wise little fox, who offers the prince his philosophical secret on life.
I have not read the book in translation so I cannot comment how this or other translations compare. Though considered a book for children, the French can still be a bit demanding if you want to try it in the original.
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