My 8-year old daughter and I were discussing our favourite French book.
There is a French book that is a universal favourite, regardless of age or nationality and that is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is considered the most famous French book of the twentieth century and apparently the best-selling French book ever published.
Le Petit Prince: French book par excellence
First printed in 1943, by the famous French aviator Saint-Exupery, Le Petit Prince is apparently an allegory of Saint-Exupery’s own life. It is often described as a children’s book, which is misleading. It is a philosophical critique of society. Most people have heard of at least one of the enigmatic quotes, such as “you only see what is important with your heart: the essential things are hidden from view”. The appeal of this book is also the wonderful, watercolour illustrations by Saint-Exupery himself.
Miss Frizz, Entre Rires et Larmes: favourite French book for 9 year-old girls
My daughter’s favourite book “of the moment” is one of the books received in March’s La Box de Pandore, called Miss Frizz, Entre Rires et Larmes by Lia Céli, published by Bayard press (age 9 upwards). It is not strictly speaking a French book, as it has been translated from Italian, but the illustrator and publishing house are both French. This is an easy-to-read pocket book that involves an ice-skating competition and a reluctant competitor.
A French book that lists the sweet things in life
And my favourite French book at the moment? My choice is also March’s selection by La Box de Pandore called Ces petits bonheurs qui changent la vie (Small moments of happiness that can change your life) by Caroline Rochet, published by Leduc. I am enjoying this book for its unique French take on happiness.
Some of the 98 things that Rochet says make life sweeter are universal: clean sheets, finding an available taxi in the middle of nowhere, finding some money in a pocket, taking one’s shoes off … We can all relate to these. Rochet also lists happiness à la française: biting into a hot crusty baguette, the “13th month” pay check and my personal favourite: number 62, which is encountering friendly customer service in a shop. Is it true that Good Customer Service in France is a little like Saint-Exupery’s Petit Prince? It is sweet to imagine but we know it isn’t realistic.
However the secret to happiness number 96: eating with your fingers is much more achievable. Hmmm my kids should be ecstatic most of the time! No comment.
What’s your favourite French book of the moment?
Originally posted 2015-04-13 07:00:58.