Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2011; originally published 1943, French, English
On 4 book lists
Alberto Alessi

A poetic overview of our world—which a designer should always have!

Hartmut Esslinger

Very poetic and naturally a bit over-quoted by mindless people. I had to study it in French and its simplicity fascinates.

David Kelley

The Little Prince had a big impact in my life when I was young and impressionable. It offered my earliest lessons in prototyping, iterating, and stretching your imagination:

He said, “Draw me a sheep.” So then I made a drawing.

He looked at it carefully, then he said: “No. This sheep is already very sickly.

Make me another.” So I made another drawing.

My friend smiled gently and indulgently. “You see yourself,” he said, “that this is not a sheep. This is a ram. It has horns.”

So then I did my drawing over once more. But it was rejected too, just like the others. “This one is too old. I want a sheep that will live a long time.”

By this time my patience was exhausted[...] So I tossed off this drawing. And I threw out an explanation with it. “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: “This is exactly the way I wanted it!”

— Excerpt from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Marco Romanelli

A book I have read almost three times, or rather, at three different times of my life—as a child, as a young father with a child by the hand, and as a professional designer. The last reading has been the most intense: where else you can find a more accurate definition of the why and when of design? The Little Prince is a design book. It should be compulsory in every design school.

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