Monday, October 17, 2011

Kidsmomo's Book List for The Little Prince




We have invited Kidsmomo, an independent website for readers ages 8-13, to guest blog this season.  Look for their posts to extend and enrich your families’ experiences with the literary works adapted for the stage. 

It’s not hard to see why The Little Prince is a classic. It’s beautiful. It’s moving. It’s thought-provoking. It’s sweet. But in our opinions, it’s also pretty darn sad!

Photo: Leila Ghaznavi
If you’re anything like us, you probably feel a sense of loss when the story of The Little Prince is over. First, you have to say goodbye to the young boy in the tale. But beyond that, once you’ve spent time in the Sahara with a lost aviator and a universe-traveling prince, it can be hard to return to the real world. You may recall that the narrator in The Little Prince was frustrated as a child when he drew a picture of a boa constrictor eating an elephant, but everyone else just saw a hat. Everyday life? Yeah, it can seem like that sometimes. (Especially Mondays).

So we’ve rounded up some other children’s books for your kids to check out if they enjoyed The Little Prince and you’re looking for similar stories. Of course, The Little Prince is truly unique, so there are no other titles exactly like it. But each of these books evokes some aspect of the classic tale and should appeal to fans of the beloved boy and his rose:

Picture Books:

The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis
In this beautifully illustrated book, the author is magically transported to the hometown of his childhood, and he relates his visit to his young daughter.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Inspired by the High Line public park, this book tells the story of a little boy who tends to an abandoned garden, eventually bringing new life to a sad and desolate city.

The Lost Thing and Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
We couldn’t pick just one Shaun Tan book, so we settled on these two. Tan’s gorgeous illustrations and whimsical vignettes often center on tales of loss and explorations of humanity and relationships.

Weslandia written by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
A misfit at school, Wesley decides to spend his summer creating his own civilization. He starts by tending an unusual crop of plants in his backyard, and soon both the plants and Wesley’s world blossom beautifully.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
A little girl spends her childhood in a state of wonderment, delighting in everything from the stars in the night sky to the waves in the ocean. But when she suffers a loss in the family, she puts her heart in a bottle to avoid future pain. Eventually, a new friend helps her to be open to the world again.


Novels:

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois
In this Newbery Medal winner, a retired teacher takes a balloon trip and accidentally lands on the hidden island of Krakatoa, where he discovers a wealthy society and their fantastical customs and inventions.

The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer
One dull day, the perennially bored Milo receives an unusual gift: a magical tollbooth that transports him to a distant land! As Milo explores the Kingdom of Wisdom, he meets an eccentric cast of characters (and creatures) and gets involved in a quest to rescue Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason.

The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
In this first installment of the classic series, a small-town veterinarian travels to Africa to cure a monkey epidemic – facing pirates and experiencing other adventures along the way. (One note: you’ll probably want a later edition of this book, as the original reflects prevailing racial attitudes of the time. But don’t let that turn you off to the books overall; just pick up the revised edition!)

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Dedicated from father to son, this book follows a young boy’s journey through the fictional country of Alifbay as he tries to restore his father’s gift of storytelling.

The BFG by Roald Dahl
In this delightful story, Sophie befriends the Big Friendly Giant (or BFG for short), who collects good dreams and later gifts them to sleeping children. But is he brave enough to join forces with humans against the less friendly giants of the world?

Bonus! (Graphic Novel)

Panel from Sfar's The Little Prince
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
In this wordless tale, a lonely dog builds himself a robot companion. They’re the best of pals until a disastrous rust incident immobilizes the robot, and the two friends both try to move on. Although completely different from The Little Prince in plot and format, this book somehow still evokes a very similar sentiment, and it particularly stands out to us as the perfect follow-up read.

And if you and your kids like graphic novels, we should also mention that there’s a graphic novel version of The Little Prince too! It’s adapted by Joann Sfar, a French comic artist and author, and definitely worth checking out. Compare and contrast it with the original book, as well as the stage version. It’s almost like being back in the Sahara!


Nancy Tsai and Karen Wang are the forces behind Kidsmomo.com, an independent website for readers ages 8-13. Kidsmomo covers new and favorite children’s books through podcasts, videos, author interviews, book giveaways, and blog posts, and kids are also invited to submit their own book reviews to share with their peers. Nancy and Karen can be reached at contactus@kidsmomo.com.

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