Review of the Week – The Pilot and the Little Prince

pilot and little princeSis, Peter. The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Peter Sis, Illus. Non-fiction. Farrar, 2014. [48]p. $17.99.  978-0-374-38069-4. OUTSTANDING GRADES 2-5

In the latest exemplary picture book biography by Caldecott Honor recipient Sis, he describes the life and career of French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, best known for The Little Prince (1943). The main text runs along the bottom of the illustrations and can be read through for a concise but clear overview of his life. Within the spreads, there are spot illustrations captioned in small print with interesting facts that elaborate on the subject described in the main text below; these fact bits are likely to appeal to an older reader. These parallel narratives make this appealing to a wide age range, and although there are no source notes, there is a brief bibliography on the verso. The stunning illustrations, which appear to be watercolors with ink details, are fanciful yet still convey much factual information. For example, in an early spread on his youth as a dreamer, there are replications of notable images from Georges Mèliés’ film, A Trip to the Moon. Some spreads are wordless, and many evoke emotions that words cannot convey, especially the spread on WW II. Review based on an ARC.

Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ, SLIS

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