The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-up

The Little Prince is one of the most meaningful books in my life and I never get tired of reading it. There is also a favorite memory attached to the book — forty four girls in blue and white uniforms, enthralled as one very special teacher read us the following lines:

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose — ” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

A couple of years ago, I was at a bargain bookstore chain’s warehouse when I found an anniversary edition of  The Little Prince, with slipcase and all, for P140 (less than US $3). I don’t collect all editions of the book (a couple of my book club friends do!) but I wanted a nice copy, and I was pretty content with this one…

… until I saw the Little Prince Deluxe Pop-up book in a specialty bookstore last Christmas!

I was drooling over it because it’s a 64-page pop-up book with the unabridged text, and all the pop-ups are based on the original illustrations. I was mulling it over because it was quite expensive, at P1600 (over US $30 — the cover price is $35) because the bookstore wasn’t one of the bigger chains. But then again, it was a pretty good deal for a pop-up book: most only have 7 spreads (14 pages or so) and the classic ones have severely abridged texts.

I happened to mention it on my Facebook, and a bunch of friends saw it, and before I knew it the book had sold out at the store!

I couldn’t find it at any of the other stores, either.

Then a couple of weeks ago, my co-worker (thanks Andi!) told me that one of the Fully Booked branches (Gateway, his favorite branch, and now my favorite branch too!) and I had them hold it until I could come to the store (it’s a long way from where I live, and there are at least five branches closer) today, when I had a meeting that took me in that direction.

As luck would have it, it was sale day, and I got it at 20% off, so I got it at an amazing P1173 (around US $23)!

Here’s a look inside:

“I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds.”

“I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard. I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness. Here you may see the best portrait that, later, I was able to make of him. But my drawing is certainly very much less charming than its model.”

“This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside.”
I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my young judge: “That is exactly the way I wanted it!”

“It is a question of discipline,” the little prince said to me later on. “When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rosebushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work,” the little prince added, “but very easy.”

“It may well be that this man is absurd. But he is not so absurd as the king, the conceited man, the businessman, and the tippler. For at least his work has some meaning. When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful.”

“What a queer planet!” he thought. “It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them… On my planet I had a flower; she always was the first to speak…”

“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”

This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it again to impress it on your memory. It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.

Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognize it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.

I’ve gotten sniffly again, reading this book! I’m so glad I finally have this pop-up. It’s a wonderful tribute to a well-loved book, and I’ll certainly treasure this for many years to come.

The  Little Prince Deluxe Pop-up Book, Houghton Mifflin First edition, 5/5 stars

Book #29 for 2010

Haven’t read The Little Prince? It’s available in full here.


10 thoughts on “The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-up”

  1. Oh my GOODNESS! This book is absolutely stunning!

    Aaaah… What is essential is invisible to the eye, but this is gorgeous! Must get my mitts on one myself, for my mum’s birthday in May!

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