28 August 2011

Le Petit prince - pop-up!

Already one of my most prized possessions: Le Petit Prince en pop-up!

The artwork is truly beautiful. The illustrations, if they aren’t already, look truly authentic, and the pop-ups are exquisite. Stars turn, baobabs spring out, the snake swiftly slithers upwards. My favorites are the sunset-sunrise and the fox. It may be quite expensive for a book, but it’s worth it! They have it in English, French, and even Korean! You can buy it here via Amazon.

I’m sure many others do as well, but Le Petit Prince is one of those books that have had great influence on me and that I always think about and keep with me in my heart.

I first read the book in Korean (어린왕자) with the original illustrations, just because it was on the floor of my cousin’s room when I was waiting for our piano teacher to come. I was pleasantly surprised, and the charming story left an impression on me that I didn’t forget. I agreed with the Little Prince wholeheartedly, and vowed never to become a true adult.

A few years later, my family moved to the U.S. and I learned English. I picked up The Little Prince again, and it was different than the first time I had read it. I understood more of the author’s message, about ‘adults’ and why the Little Prince didn’t understand them.

Recently, I read it again, but this time in the original French version. This time, I was sad. First, I discovered even more in the book this time, mostly between the lines, and the story was no longer just charming, but also left me sighing and feeling frustrated. Second, I found myself understanding, and even rationalizing, the actions of the ridiculous adults that the Little Prince met. The saddest thing, though, was that I found bits of them in myself, and that I could no longer innocently—or naïvely, as the adults would say—denounce becoming a practical, worldly, preoccupied adult myself.

Since then, I’ve tried harder to return to the child who so wanted to be friends with the Little Prince. Look at things simply. Don’t get worked up about small things that don’t matter. Cherish your friendships. Don’t be afraid to love and express that love. Ask your friends not what they study or what job they want to have, but what their favorite flavor of ice cream is and what kind of person they aspire to be.

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