Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Little Prince (Graphic Novel)

I first read Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petite Prince as an adult. It's one of those books that everyone seems to love and keep in a special, sweet little place in their heart.

I have a black heart, apparently, since I really didn't get it when I read the picture book version of this book. On the whole, the story sort of made me want to poke my eyeballs out with toothpicks. I get the message, I really do. But that didn't help a whole lot.

I requested the graphic novel for review from NetGalley, and I have to say, for this picture-lovin' gal, it was an improvement. Given, the storytelling still bugs me. I don't feel the deep pang of nostalgia for this book that so many others probably do who read it in childhood.

Nevertheless, the illustrations, by Joann Sfar, did help this one come to life for me. While I still wanted to dropkick the Little Prince on occasion, the illustrations were nothing short of beautiful. The colors were great, the style of illustrations was rough and sort of surreal which matched the tone of the book nicely. I was especially fond of the Prince's visits to the various planets and all the lovely grownup weirdos he ran into along the way. They were wonderfully, weirdly drawn. Just as grownups should be. Take a look for yourself.

So coming to this one as a curmudgeonly adult who didn't really dig the story: nothing has changed. However, I give the form an A+. If you're already a lover of The Little Prince, you'll probably love this version just as much, if not more, than I did.

Addendum: And it seems there are many of you who haven't read this book! That actually makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, since I didn't read it until adulthood. In short, it's about a little prince (ha!) who leaves his home planet (and his pet rose) to visit other planets where he encounters self-absorbed, neurotic adults who do stupid things. He ultimately meets up with our narrator (far less stupid adult than most) before returning to his "home planet." Message: don't be a stupid adult. Be useful, kind, and be good to little explorers.

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