What Is Essential?

the little prince“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”  From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Published in North America 70 years ago this week, The Little Prince remains a masterpiece of children’s literature, one of the best-selling books in the world and still happily read by children and adults alike. It has been re-imagined as a movie, musical, play, opera, TV series, graphic novel and even part of a Super Mario game.

In the illustrated tale, a lonely boy discovers what matters in life. It was inspired by the author’s survival ordeal after a 1935 air crash in the Sahara Desert, during an air race from Paris to Saigon.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French pilot and adventurer, who wrote the book in 1942 while living briefly in the New York-Connecticut area. He died two years later flying a mission over Nazi-occupied France.

Tunxis Library has the classic English translation, as well as a graphic novel version and Spanish translation of the original French book.

You can also read about the 1935 plane crash in Survivors: True Tales of Endurance and about Consuelo, his wife, in The Tale of the Rose: The Passion that Inspired The Little Prince.

Tunxis also has several critical analyses of the book in our electronic reference collections. We even have Saint-Exupéry’s prize-winning novel, Night Flight, drawn from his real life on the edge, flying a dangerous mail route across the Andes in the 1930s.

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