Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupery was born on 29 June 1900 in Lyon, France. He first flew in a plane when he was twelve years old, an experience which ignited a life-long love of aviation and adventure. After serving in the French air force, Saint-Exupery joined a pioneering aviation company and helped to establish the first airmail routes over north Africa and South America, surviving numerous accidents and gaining the Legion d'honneur for his service. His experiences inspired several books, including Night Flight (1931), and Wind, Sand and Stars (1939), which were awarded France's highest literary awards. He wrote The Little Prince during a sojourn in the US, where it was first published in 1943, before he returned to France to fly military reconnaissance missions. On 31 July 1944, Saint-Exupery took off from an air base in Corsica, but never returned. His disappearance remained the subject of speculation until 1998, when his identity bracelet was recovered from the sea off the coast of Marseille. Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best loved children's authors. He was born in 1943 in St Albans and published his first book in 1975. Since then he has written over one hundred books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, and adapted for film and the stage, including the National Theatre's hit production of War Horse. His books have won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Book Prize, the Children's Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award as well as many others. Michael was Children's Laureate from 2003-2005, and was awarded an OBE in 2006.
The pilot who wrote the story of The Little Prince died long ago, but the fictional pilot, who told the story, is as alive today as he was decades ago, along with his Prince, the fox, the rose, the snake and the laughing stars, ringing bells that fill the clear nights with voices of the heart. In my mind's eye, the stars only become more brilliant, their music more clear. They are signalling that they are here to stay, not just for French readers, but for readers all around the world - for the readers who have the eyes to see, the ears to listen and the courage to imagine -- Azar Nafisi Of all the books written in French over the past century, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince is surely the best loved in the most tongues * New Yorker * The Little Prince will shine upon children with a sidewise gleam. It will strike them in some place that is not the mind and glow there until the time comes for them to comprehend it -- P.L. Travers, author of 'Mary Poppins' The Little Prince may have emerged in New York from a French writer, but its appeal - appropriately enough for a book about imagined planets - is universal. Even 70 years after the author's disappearance, adults and children around the world continue to feel a strong connection to his distinctive illustrations and the book's bittersweet philosophy of growing up * Daily Telegraph * Here is a sweetly and simply told tale of a little boy from a very little asteroid, so big with meaning that even important people will find wisdom in it; so simply told that even critics and college professors ought to understand its beauty and meaning; a thin little book filled with rich substance; something easy to read and remember and hard to forget * Los Angeles Times *