Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Little Prince

In the ELB lunchbox: dried apricot Little Prince, pb&j with snake drawn on cheese, salad, and nectarine.

I read The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, when I was young. I recently saw the book when Boogs and I were at Barnes & Noble, so I bought a copy. I showed Boogs the picture of a drawing at the beginning of the book. Boogs guessed that it was a hill of dirt. Then he had an a-ha moment when we turned the page and saw the outline of an elephant inside the "hill of dirt". As we read, he realized the hill was actually a snake who had eaten an elephant. We had an interesting conversation about perspective and how a person's background knowledge colors the way they see things. We discussed this line from the book: All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it. The narrator was making the point that as people grow up they lose their wonder and creativity. Boogs told me that he thinks I still know what it is like to be a child. That comment made me smile. I am so glad summer break is here and we get to hang out together more. I made our first lunch of summer based on the two snake drawings in the book.

As we continued to read The Little Prince, I realized that it was not like I remembered it. I looked into it and realized the Barnes & Noble book I bought had an updated translation. I read the Katherine Woods translation when I was young. The book I was reading with Boogs was translated from French into English by Richard Howard. I went to a used book store and found a copy of the book translated by Woods. The Woods book had black and white illustrations whereas the Howard book had color illustrations. Boogs liked the color illustrations better, so he followed along in the Howard book while I read aloud from the Woods book. Naturally, as he followed along, he noticed many differences in how things were written. Boogs told me he liked the Woods translation more  because it gave him a better picture in his mind. He also said he liked the "stronger vocabulary" in the Woods version. He gave me the following example to show me what he meant.
Snakes - they are malicious creatures. This one might bite you just for fun.

Snakes are nasty sometimes. They bite just for fun.

A couple of days after we finished reading The Little Prince, Boogs and I were in the kitchen. He said, "I am eager to go visit my friend M at 10 o'clock. I can't wait for time to speed up." Then Boogs smiled and added, "Or, in the words of the poorly translated Little Prince,  I could say 'I am very, very, happy to see M.' Saying it the second way is not as interesting." I love Boogs' interest in words.

Boogs said he would like to keep both translations of The Little Prince because the Woods book had better words and the Howard book had color illustrations.

I made a second lunch to go with the book.
In the ELB lunchbox: ham rose, cheese rose stem with four thorns for protection, pumpkin muffin with two active & one dormant chocolate chip volcanoes, pistachio planets for the Little Prince to visit, Pringles, salad with laughing stars, and blueberries with strawberry stars.

This post is linked to:
Kid Lit Blog Hop

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! If you want to see my book inspired lunches, click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post or go to My Story Themed Lunches board on Pinterest. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.


  1. So interesting to reflect on the different translations and how it gives such a different feel to the story. Love that Boogs thinks that you still remember what it is like to be a child - it is sad that we tend to lose that sense of wonder as we grow up and one of the joys of parenting is being able to find it again through seeing the world through our children's eyes :-)

    1. I love listening to and watching my son figure things out as we read or work on projects. It so neat to get a little insight into his thoughts. He is getting to that age where he does not think I am as much fun as I used to be.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your beautiful lunches. The topic of translation is very interesting and you provided a wonderful learning opportunity for your son.

  3. Book themed lunches are so much fun. I've pinned the post.

    Hopping over from the kid lit blog hop.

    1. Thanks. I have been making them for the past several years for my son. We have fun turning books into lunch.

  4. What a great way to get kids thinking about words and language by comparing two translations. Thanks for sharing with #KidLitBlogHop !