The Saddest Children’s Book Ever


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the little prince, el principito, le petit princeThroughout my pregnancy, I’ve tried to regularly read aloud to Piopio. Sometimes it’s the news or whatever book I happened to be reading that day. We also received a few children’s books as gifts and have purchased additional ones.Kail bought “The Little Prince” as a Christmas gift for Piopio and me. I had read it many years ago and re-read it aloud to Piopio over a couple weeks. Have you ever read it? “The Little Prince” is the saddest children’s book ever.the little prince, el principito, le petit prince“The Little Prince” is arguably not a children’s book, but an allegory of very adult themes. It grapples with grown-up issues such as the ephemeral nature of love, the fleeting innocence of childhood, and materialism and other shallow values.

One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.

{Spoiler alert below.}the little prince, el principito, le petit princeAnd then there’s the whole does-he-or-doesn’t-he die at the end? Does the Little Prince commit suicide by snakebite because he’s so distraught over his beloved flower? Does “returning to his planet” symbolize an afterlife?Is the Little Prince meant to be a Christlike figure, sacrificing his sinless self for humanity, possibly to “come back” later, as the narrator indicates in the epilogue? Or do we take the story literally: The Little Prince simply returned to his planet.I really love “The Little Prince” though, despite its sombre tone. I’m not sure when it will be age-appropriate to have these discussions with Piopio. Might keep this one on a higher bookshelf for a while!What are your favorite children’s books?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

2 thoughts on “The Saddest Children’s Book Ever

  1. I’ve never read this book! My fave childhood books are definitely Shel Silverstein’s! Where the Sidewalk Ends. The Giving Tree. A Light In the Attic.

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