As an artist, I am always finding inspiration from children’s books.
Have you ever taken the time to read a book or novel that you loved as a child? Or perhaps as an adult indulged in reading a children’s novel that you have heard about? As adults in this technology-driven and busy world, taking the time out to relax and escape is more important than ever!
I love children’s literature – it really does have the capacity to transport us back to a simpler time, filled with hope, magic and wonder. Many stories have philosophical instruction or interwoven messages. Children often understand the general meaning of the story, but some stories can convey a message of a much deeper meaning that only adults would notice.
One book with deep interwoven meanings is the 1943 classic, “The Little Prince”, written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This bittersweet tale has been loved by generations of readers. It contains poetic language and many symbolic scenes. Each time you re-read it, the deep meaning contained within its pages is realised and you may shed tears as this message is revealed (I did). Reading this book can be a really life changing and an emotional experience as one contemplates the true meaning of this beautiful masterpiece. At the same time, this book can be enlightening – ALL adults were once children and our childhood is still a part of each of us.
This philosophical story remarks on the strangeness and vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters the Little Prince makes on his voyage to Earth after leaving his tiny planet, a small asteroid. There are many themes in this book about how adults become more preoccupied with things in life that (in the big scheme of things) are of very little value. There are also themes that adults become less creative and imaginative and more accustomed to ‘routine’ as they are blinded by adulthood. Children see the world with fresh eyes, everything is new and a wonder… sadly for most, by adulthood that vision for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring is dimmed or lost. This story’s criticism of the adult world is confronting when you read it – for me it was a sorrowful realisation that adulthood often results in the death of childhood.
As the tale progresses, the Little Prince makes many observations about life and human nature. Many of the book’s most famous quotations are uttered by the Fox after he is ‘tamed’ by the Little Prince. The story’s essence is given by the Fox as he speaks with the Little Prince:” One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.” The Little Prince learns a lot from his friend, Fox. The Fox’s meaningful messages deal with the importance of human relationships and how that adds meaning and purpose to our lives.
Consider honouring the ‘child’ that still resides deep within. Read this book and celebrate childhood innocence and reignite your imagination. This book is truly magical and a treasure.
Indulge yourself and pick up a children’s book or novel. Enjoy some time out and escape on a journey or adventure to another world; you’ll be delighted to realise how enjoyable it will be if you approach it with openness and a child-like wonder. Children’s literature can help us see life in a different perspective and remind us of what is really important.