The Little Prince was published 70 years ago. On April 6, 1943, it was placed in bookstores in the United States by Reynal & Hitchcock.
This beautiful story, written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, tells us about a little boy from distant Asteroid B-612 and his critical perspective on the adult world. The Little Prince is a true children's classic (not just for boys) and probably one of the few books to exceed 150 million copies produced around the world in more than 250 languages and dialects.
A year after its publication, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry died on a military flight off the coast of Provence, when his plane was shot down by a German bomber. Exupéry, an aviation pioneer, author and explorer, never received a single peso for The Little Prince.
But I don't want to talk about dates, numbers or money like a "serious man" who only knows how to count. I want to tell you about The Little Prince and me.
"All adults were children, but few remember it"
Not long ago I was a pale, skinny kid. Fortunately for me, I can remember. And I say fortunately because only those who remember the child that he once was can read this book. It was the strict and bald professor of literature who for the first time showed me The Little Prince.
I must admit that the first thing that caught my attention was not the words of The Little Prince. It was the illustrations. I can still remember the beautiful watercolor of an elephant inside a boa constrictor. I must also admit that what I saw was a hat (as an adult would have seen it) in drawing number 1, not an elephant and a snake, how a real child should see it.
For a long time this troubled me greatly. "Maybe I'm an old-boy," he thought worriedly. He also thought that there should be a way to see elephants inside a boa, instead of seeing hats.
The Little Prince: "The essential is invisible to the eyes"
And quickly, while reading the book, I found the answer: “It doesn't look good if not with the heart; The essential is invisible to the eyes". Then I understood that my problem was that I was trying to see with my eyes, and not with my heart, so I could only see hats.
Since then, I have been trying to see the world more with my heart and less with my eyes. Honestly, it's not easy, you know.
Thanks to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the same pale skinny boy (a bit old now) is a children's book writer, trying to get children to see elephants inside boas instead of hats.