Normally most of the books have designated target readers, who are interested in consuming them. Like crime thriller or romantic novels will be appealing only for readers having taste in them. There are novels that appeal only to people living in certain region. Sometimes some books are made which will be interesting to readers liking diverse genres- like Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist which was lapped up by enthusiasts of different genres like romance, fantasy and self help. But few books have such universal appeal that anyone belonging to any age, region or personal liking can benefit by reading them.
French novel The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery is one such book. I had read a Malayalam translation of it when I was a small kid. That book was there with me till I was 16 and the times I had read it is countless, each time giving me immense pleasure. A few weeks back I read the English translation and realised that, even after these many years, it is still relevant- to me as an individual and to the society in which I am living.
The Little Prince starts by the author recounting an incident of his childhood. He drew an elephant eaten by a boa constrictor, but all adults who looked at it saw a hat. The author stopped drawing after that. Story fast forwards, and now we saw him, who went on to become an airplane pilot, stranded in a desert following a crash. He meets the Little Prince, who used to live in a tiny planet in space there. Prince tell him his story. The author learns valuable lessons about living. The novel ends in a sad note when Prince return back to his planet leaving the author alone in the desert.
The Little Prince is written in simple language intended for kids. But it deals with several issues like love, possession, patience, selfishness and the difference between adults and kids. It stress the importance of keeping the life simple and thereby more enjoyable. This book is a must read for kids. They will definitely enjoy the story and illustrations, at the same time learn valuable lessons about life. Adults also will enjoy the story as it will remind us of our days of innocence and may prompt some of us to simplify our complex and hectic lifestyle.