The Little Prince: A Visual Dictionary

28 December 2016

I first read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince when I was in high school. We were at my uncle's house then, and being the anti-social kid I was I chose to go to their mini library and browse the books. I figured it would be a short read since it's a thin volume, with illustrations to boot. I finished it in no time and I was completely taken in. I asked to borrow it and my uncle's wife happily obliged, saying that she wishes their kids have the same penchant for reading as I did.

Well, it's been years and I still have the book with me.

Since I lost all my childhood books in a fire that razed through our neighborhood back in 2001, this book can be considered as the oldest one I have, and it's not even technically mine. Hee. I have the deluxe pop-up edition book and it's one of my favorite things I own, but this thin volume holds a special place in my heart. Trivia: did you know that it's second only to the Bible as the world's best-selling book in history?

For Christmas, my boyfriend gave me this gift and oh my goodness, I bawled so much:

The Little Prince: A Visual Dictionary by Christophe Quillien
The first complete visual history of a classic masterpiece
Everything that you need to know about The Little Prince, from the first draft of the Saint-Exupéry novel to the recent animation movie by Mark Osborne.
Who hasn't heard of The Little Prince? First published in the United States in 1943, this classic by Saint-Exupéry is the world s best-selling book, after the Bible.
For the very first time, discover the official and definitive encyclopedia to this planetary myth: the genesis of the masterpiece, the origins of the Little Prince, all of the drawings, Saint-Exupéry's life, and more.

I consider myself to be nimble when it comes to news about books, movies, and other pop culture phenomena when they concern my favorites, but I was completely thrown off guard and blown away by this gift. It was completely unexpected because I didn't even know such a thing exists! Thank you so much, bb! 

Let me give you a quick virtual tour through this book. 

The inside cover pages are filled with Saint-Exupéry's illustrations from the book

Adorable little boy!
One important thing I gleaned from Saint-Exupéry's biography is that he had a very happy childhood.

Early manuscript
An unpublished chapter! I didn't even know there was an unpublished chapter!

Leafing through the following got me ugly-crying again because! They're! Just! So! Beautiful! I am overwhelmed just thinking about how great of an impact this book has made among generations of readers!

。゚( ゚இ‸இ゚)゚。

Look! An advertisement for the book in The New York Times in April 1943!
As evidenced by the millions of posts with the hashtag #LePetitPrince on Instagram alone, this cult classic inspired countless artworks, including the watercolor paintings I made.

Collectors were also featured.

This is Jean-Marc Probst, and he has assembled more than 3,400 different editions of The Little Prince since 1980!
Here is a rundown of the Visual Dictionary's contents aside from a biographical timeline and the ones mentioned above: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (his childhood, his life as a writer, his calling in the air, the women associated with him, his exile in America, and his final mission); The Origins of The Little Prince (biographical and personal sources, the man the book was dedicated to, sketches, manuscript and proof sets); The Little Prince, the Ouvre (first editions, French and French-language Editions, the unpublished chapter, variations, translations, illustrations, and critical reception); The Little Prince Universe (a more in-depth look at the characters and settings); The Little Prince Quotations; The Little Prince Bookshelf (sequels and imitations, archive, books on the animated series); Testimonials; The Little Prince On Screen (cinema and television); The Little Prince On Stage (theater, opera and musical productions, multimedia shows, audio recordings); The Little Prince in Comics and Youth Literature; Inspired by The Little Prince (merchandise, fashion, advertising); The Little Prince Around the World; and The Little Prince and Us (fan-art, collectors, exhibitions, non-profit organizations).

Whew, that was hefty! I have a lot of other The Little Prince items [accumulated and gifted by friends throughout the years] in my humble collection like my Little Prince and Little Girl Funko Pops, a mother of pearl pendant, a locket, stickers, notebooks and journals, my Moleskine Planner, folders, a pen, and a coloring book, but this Visual Dictionary is now one of my favorite prized possessions.

He also gave me a pair of Melissa Campana Fitas II. Doesn't it remind you of the Little Prince's rose? It's so glittery and impractical and pretty and special. I leave a trail of glitters wherever I go, I love it so much.

What a treasure, both the gifts and the giver. My heart is full. ♥ Merry Christmas, everyone. May you have a heart that sees rightly, that what is essential is invisible to the eye. (But a new pair of shoes and a book about your favorite book never did hurt anyone.)

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