Monday, July 4, 2011

Review #101: The Little Prince

Last month we took recommendations for books that our readers wanted the Z-Kids to review.  In the weeks that followed, we read as many as we could; then the kids ranked their favorites.  After tallying up the votes, we decided to share the books that placed in the top three spots.  Thanks to "Kelli Jo" for recommending today's book: The Little Prince!

Dad:  Tell me about the Little Prince.
Lily (age 8):  He is little.  A kid.  He has really yellow hair.  He's from a star.  A teeny star.
Gracie (age 10):  It's about the size of our table...
Isaac (age 12):  It was more like an asteroid than a star.
Gracie:  Or maybe it was the size of our porch...
Lily:  It's round.  So everything would be tippy there.
Gracie:  It wasn't bigger than a house...
Isaac:  There was a rose there.  He loved the rose.  But the rose was always self-focused.  So he finally left her.
Gracie:  The planet was more like the size of a round refrigerator...
Lily:  He wanted to make a friend.
Gracie:  So he visited a bunch of different planets.  One with a king, one with a vain man, one with a businessman, one with a lamplighter.
Lily:  The lamplighter's planet spins fast.  So he had to keep lighting the lamp over and over because his days and nights were one minute apart.
Isaac:  Finally the Little Prince went to Earth.
Lily:  Which is our planet.  He's looking for a friend, and he finds a fox.  The fox says, "Tame me! Tame me!"
Isaac:  And he meets this guy who crash landed in the desert, and the Little Prince tells him, "Draw me a sheep."
Gracie:  Because the Little Prince was lonely.  The guy and the Little Prince learn to love each other.
Dad:  What was your mood at the end of the book?
Isaac:  Gracie cried.
Gracie:  Yep.  I love the book.  It was sad, but it was happy at the same time.
Dad:  What was the main point of the book?  It wasn't really a lesson... more of an observation...
Gracie:  The most beautiful, most special things in life are invisible.
Lily:  It's not the thing itself that is most important.  It's the time you give to the thing that makes it special.
Isaac:  There are millions and millions of roses.  But there was only one that he took care of and learned to love.  Or, like, there may be tons of toys, but this is your favorite stuffed animal because it's your special one that you sleep with.  It's different than any other one.
Lily:  And there's a million kids with freckles and brown hair and blue eyes named Lily.
Dad:  But which one do I love?
Lily:  Me.  Because you give time to me.
Gracie:  You were the one that cleaned up her "womp," and changed her diapers, and read her books, and snuggled her, and changed her diaper again, and pushed her around in shopping carts...
Lily:  The invisible things.  Roses are roses, And violets are blue, But the one that you love, Is one you gave time to.
Dad:  Ah, you just made a little rhyme!
Lily:  Hee hee!
Dad:  I love it.
Gracie:  There could be billions and billions of pickles in the world...  but the pickle that...  wait.
Dad:  No, keep going.  That example could work.  You had a tomato plant once.
Gracie:  I did.  They tasted very, very good.
Dad:  Better than store-bought tomatoes.
Gracie:  I really took care of them!  I loved those tomatoes.  I watered them.  And I talked to them.  And I sang to them.  And I made sure they grew right.  And I wiped away the spiderwebs.
Dad:  So why did you like those tomatoes so much?
Gracie:  They were MY tomatoes.  I even named my tomato plants.  Biggie and Cutie.
Dad:  The fox said that from now on, whenever he saw golden wheat, it would remind him of the Little Prince's yellow hair and give him good feelings.  Do you have anything that stirs up good associations in you?
Isaac:  My hat.  I've worn it to every concert I've ever gone to.  And I get people to sign it, so I remember all the places I've been.
Dad:  So it's more than a hat.  It's a scrapbook on your head.
Isaac:  Yeah.
Dad:  There are certain smells in the wind that remind me of childhood.
Gracie:  WHAT???  I don't understand.
Dad:  Well, you're still a kid.  Maybe someday it will happen to you too.
Gracie:  Do you have any good associations with Mom?  What reminds you of her hottiness?
Dad:  There are certain songs that remind me of when we were first dating.
Gracie:  Every time I see a hippo, it reminds me of you, Daddy.
Dad:  Oh great.  "When I see great, large hippos... I think of my Dad."
Gracie:  No!  Just purple hippos.

visiting the lamplighter's planet, by Lily

"draw me a sheep," by Gracie

watching the sunset, by Isaac

Author/Illustrator: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Published: 1943
Like it?  Here it is


Danica Newton said...

This is dripping with sweetness. Going off to hug my kids now!!!

PS At our local library's story time, I looked over at a friend's book selection ... and there was Chuckling Ducklings. She was reading it to her 2 y.o. :)

Michele said...

Oh my goodness, there are some real gems of quotes here! "The most beautiful, most special things in life are invisible." Pretty deep for a ten-year-old! And Lily's poem, so sweet and adorable!

I was sad at first that my book didn't come in 2nd ("Roxaboxen"), but now I am glad it didn't because this is a great review!

Beth said...

I remember my mom reading us The Little Prince. She loved it so much she read it to us in English and in French (we don't speak French) and all four of us kids drank it up.

ElizT said...

So, if you are the hippo, that makes them hemi-hippos, right?

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness ... you transported me right back to my fabulous high school French class! :-)

KJ said...

I'm SO HAPPY that the kids liked this book so much!!! I actually read it for the first time just a few years ago and it made me laugh and smile (and even cry a little're not the only one Gracie) and it made me wish that I had discovered it when I was still a little kid :-)

Heather Zundel said...

I love this book so much, and all of you guys had such profound things to say about it! You are wise beyond your years. Or perhaps you already think like the Little Prince. :) Now I'm going to go smell/eat something that reminds me of my childhood...

Andy said...

My favorite part of the review is when the kids recognized Mom's hottiness. I've always heard that one of the best things parents can do is show their kids how much they love each other. You must be doing something right there. Kudos.