“The Little Prince“ (French: “Le Petit Prince”), first published in 1943, is a novella, the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944).
The novella is the fourth most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as Braille), selling nearly two million copies annually with sales totaling over 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published.
After the outbreak of the Second World War Saint-Exupéry was exiled to North America. In the midst of personal upheavals and failing health, he produced almost half of the writings for which he would be remembered, including a tender tale of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss, in the form of a young prince fallen to Earth. An earlier memoir by the author had recounted his aviation experiences in the Sahara Desert, and he is thought to have drawn on those same experiences in “The Little Prince”.
Since its first publication in the United States, the novella has been adapted to numerous art forms and media, including audio recordings, radio plays, live stage, film screen, television, ballet, and operatic works.
Review From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up—Saint-Exupéry’s little prince, interplanetary traveler and ingenuous seeker of that which is most important in life, returns in an elegant pop-up edition with unabridged text. The original artwork has been repositioned and redesigned to incorporate movable sculptures, turning wheels, and other visual effects. Almost every spread features an illustration, each carefully placed to add to the story’s pacing and augment its impact. For example, readers’ first glimpse of the little prince’s tiny planet is dramatically presented via an illustration that spins upright as the page is turned. The boy’s recounting of his relationship with his beloved yet vexing flower is made more immediate through a series of sequenced flaps, each harboring a tiny pop-up image. A towering 3-D depiction of the protagonist posed atop a mountain peak underscores his sense of loneliness. Delineated with a delicate touch, the paper engineering adds a new dimension to this wistful fairy tale without overpowering it, enhancing the story’s subtleties and echoing its sense of wonder.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal