For Day 21 of our 30 Day Book Challenge, we are sharing about our favourite childhood book. Honestly, I don’t remember what I was reading as a child. For some reason, I wasn’t given any Ronald Dahl, Dr Seuss, Judy Hume or any of those books. I just read whatever book I can find or borrow or chance upon anywhere. Sadly, since I don’t keep their physical copies, I don’t recall what they were. It was probably all the Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Archie Comics and stuff.
But, I do remember finding one hidden gem which I still re-read when I go home. Once in a while, a teardrop may even sneakily slide down my cheek. Even now, as an adult, I still think that this book is one of the most valuable books around. And so, my favourite book from my childhood is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s “The Little Prince.” It is a very short book – one you can read in one sitting. But, the lessons are so heavy and thought-provoking, the kind which will stay with you for life.
According to Goodreads, “The Little Prince tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters.” But, the fox, whom the Little Prince meets and tames, is the one who teaches us most t important themes of the novella, such as, “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes” and “You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed”.
I can see why we loved this book as a child. After all, The Little Prince is an esteemed boy who lives in a world which he can’t understand and is trying hard to figure it all out. It was written with simple words, imaginative metaphors and was even illustrated with drawings and water colours. But, honestly, even though this book was initially targeted for children, I don’t think one can fully comprehend the wisdom it entails until much later. The story of The Little Prince has very serious themes about the importance of childhood innocence, relationships and responsibilities which seems be wiser through the years.
In fact, one reason I love this book is because, even when I read it now, I still continue to learn things which I forget time and again. In fact, every time I reach the part where he says, “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it,” I feel a pang of guilt inside me for abandoning and almost forgetting this Little Prince who has taught me so much.
On hindsight, perhaps this book is not just for children. It is also for adults who remember how it was like being children and feel nostalgia for the simple comfort of childhood innocence. It’s for adults who can never go back to being trusting and naïve because they have met their Roses, and Foxes, and drank from a well with a rusty handle in the desert, and learned that a few thorns may not stand against the claws of a tiger. And this is probably why ‘The Little Prince’ is my (most) favourite book from my childhood. It is one of those rare books that surpasses any specific readership, transcends the passage of time and affects everyone who gets lost within its pages. I’d try to summarise the lessons and best quotes for you but I might just end up putting the whole book in. So, grab your copy please. Truly, I think this is a book everyone – young or old – should read.
How about you? What your favourite childhood book?
Let’s keep a look out for Cumuloquoise‘s choice for today. She definitely has a wider range of choices than me so I wonder which one of those left the most impression on her back then.