"The Little Prince," he told her. "I've always loved that book, and whenever I need help, I just think about what advice it has."
Yes, this is a book that teaches the important things in life, and teaches it well. Nell's friend is hardly alone in his reverence, since The Little Prince is said to be rated just below the Bible as one of the most widely read books in the world. In fact, that little fellow has kept translators busy telling the tale in 95 different languages
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Saint Exup ry's birth, Harcourt has issued a new English translation from the French by award-winning translator Richard Howard, complete with newly restored art. And what a treat it is, whether you're an old fan or a newcomer to this special story.
Readers may wonder why it was necessary to translate a classic after 57 years of unflagging popularity. Many are bound to be suspicious, in fact. But scholars have long criticized the previous edition as being unfaithful to the original French text. Readers should be relieved to know that Howard is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and his language is much smoother and more natural than that found in previous editions, all the while preserving the charm of the dialogue between the little prince and the stranded pilot who befriends him.
Consider, for example, this short sample of Howard's work:
"I really like sunsets. Let's go look at one now. . ."
"But we have to wait. . ."
"For the sun to set."
At first you seemed quite surprised, and then you laughed at
yourself. And you said to me, "I think I'm still at home."
Now take a look at the same passage in the old translation:
"I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset now."
"But we must wait," I said.
"Wait? For what?"
"For the sunset. We must wait until it is time."
At first you seemed to be very much surprised. And then you
laughed to yourself. You said to me:
"I am always thinking that I am at home!"
This less stilted speech is accompanied by Saint Exup ry's original watercolors, now more closely matched to the colors he intended. For instance, the author-illustrator painted the prince's cape green, when lo, these many years it's been blue.
Here, Little Prince fans, is the definitive edition. Happy birthday, Saint Exup ry, and may your book inspire not only happy readers, but future fathers and mothers as well.
Alice Cary writes from her home in Groton, Massachusetts. Copyright 2000 BookPage Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
An updated translation and a generous (though still cozy) trim size distinguish this new edition of a classic child's perspective on the adult world, with beloved original--and now restored--illustrations.",,"05I",, Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
Howard's updated translation (originally published in 2000) of the 1943 classic is reissued here in a sixtieth-anniversary slipcased edition.",,"Intermediate Fiction",,,,,,,,,,,23315,,,, Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
School Library Journal Reviews 2000 September
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 Cahners Business Information.