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13 Books Like The Little Prince that Adults NEED to Read

13 Books Like The Little Prince that Adults NEED to Read

The Little Prince is an important read for children and should be on every list of the best children’s books of all time. But is The Little Prince a children’s book?

It seems to me that it’s a much more important read for adults. Perhaps we can call The Little Prince a fable for adults and a fairytale for children.

As we grow older we think we become wiser but The Little Prince is a stark reminder that the older we get, the less everything makes sense.

Why are adults obsessed with possessing meaningless objects or being admired by their peers?

Children are often made to feel that they are too young to understand how the world works but we see in The Little Prince that often things are most clear when seen through a child’s innocent eyes. 

“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

This simple story is a worldwide best-seller and Le Petit Prince is still one of the most translated stories in the world.

It quickly became one of my all-time favourite reads so I found myself searching for more books like The Little Prince. I specifically wanted to find adult books to read if you like The Little Prince and here are my top picks: 

Fox 8 by George Saunders

Who is your favourite character in The Little Prince? If it’s not The Little Prince himself then I’m sure I know who it is…

The Little Prince’s fox.

The fox’s messages are some of the most important in the story and if you loved the fox then you’re going to love Fox 8 in George Saunders latest release too. 

Fox 8 is a fable told from the perspective of a young fox, Fox 8. One day his home is upturned and transformed into FoxViewCommons.

Fox 8 sees the rest of his pack begin to starve as they can no longer find food but he is determined to help save them. He’s no ordinary fox as he has the ability to speak “Yuman”.

What follows is a devastating story about human cruelty, told from a young outsider’s perspective. 

This story is unique because the language is entirely phonetic. It’s written by a fox after all. It takes a few moments to get used to but I guarantee you will fall in love with Fox 8 as quickly as I did. 

If you Yumans wud take one bit of advise from a meer Fox? By now I know you Yumans like your Storys to end hapy?

If you want your Storys to end happy, try being niser.

How is it similar to The Little Prince? 

This is a short book like The Little Prince that forces you to view humanity through the eyes of an innocent young fox. And you might not like what you see. 

Buy Fox 8: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

If you loved The Little Prince, The Alchemist should be next up on your list of books to read. It tells the story of a young shepherd boy who has a dream about treasure awaiting him in Egypt.

He embarks on a journey to find this treasure but he finds his riches in the people he meets along the way. Each teaches him a valuable life lesson and there’s wisdom on every page of Paulo Coelho’s bestseller. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince? 

Another young boy sets off on a journey by himself and learns a different life lesson from each person he encounters along the way.

It’s hard to write as beautifully as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry but Paulo Coelho comes close. 

Buy The Alchemist: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Fables by Jean de la Fontaine

La Fontaine is one of the greatest French writers of the seventeenth century and his Fables are amongst the best ever written.

Many are adapted from the original fables by Aesop but La Fontaine’s spin on them are far more nuanced and interesting to read in my opinion. 

His fables are witty and humorous but underlying this is a serious social commentary on the foolishness of humans. There’s an ugliness inside all and La Fontaine shows us this through his depictions of simple animals. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince? 

Similarly disguised as tales for children, La Fontaine’s Fables will force adults to realise their own flaws and weaknesses. His best Fables are both fun and troubling. 

Buy The Fables of La Fontaine: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin Jr.

The Book of the Dun Cow is loosely based on The Nun’s Priest’s Tale from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and is allegorical in nature.

It is a fantasy novel in which animals rule the world and have the power of speech. There is peace in the kingdom but the animals are all unaware that they are Keepers of the Wyrm, an evil monster imprisoned beneath the Earth. A monster that is breaking free. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince? 

The Book of the Dun Cow is an allegory of human nature and you’ll find classic themes of good vs evil and self-sacrifice.

Buy The Book of the Dun Cow: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Wind, Sand and Stars Antoine de Saint-Exupery - Books Like the Little Prince

Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Did you know that Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince, was also a commercial pilot and later a member of the French Air Force in WWII?

He wrote many other adult novels, many of which are to do with flying, with the best being Terre des hommes, now translated as Wind, Sand and Stars.

Although Wind, Sand and Stars is autobiographical in nature you cannot help but see the similarities between this work and The Little Prince, which followed four years later.

Wind, Sand and Stars is much more adventurous with tales of hurtling into the sand of the Sahara desert, encounters with nomads and landing in a place full of meteorites. And it’s all true!

How is it similar to The Little Prince? 

It’s written by the same author and it’s another tale of gallant travel across the globe with equal parts adventure and beautiful prose. Themes include friendship and heroism and you’ll be reminded of what makes life worth living.  

Buy Wind, Sand and Stars: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

King Lesserlight’s Crown

King Lesserlight’s Crown is sadly rather difficult to get a hold of these days but if you do manage to find a copy – snap it up!

This book couldn’t be more relevant today now that mental health problems are being openly discussed.

It is the story of the “Gloom”, which steals King Lesserlight’s heart and his joy. He receives a new heart but he still can’t feel joy so he embarks on a journey to the Castle of the Child to try get it back.

King Lesserlight’s adventure begins here where pigs fly, painting move and fountains are made of rainbows. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Its second title is “A Children’s Story for Grownups, Too” and that says it all really.

Buy King Lesserlight’s Crown: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Candide by Voltaire

Candide is a picaresque novel by the French philosopher Voltaire and one of the most celebrated works of French literature.

It is a tale of adventure, romance and discovery but underneath it all is a serious commentary on French society at the time.

Indeed, the book was actually banned upon publication for its blasphemy and political commentary.

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Candide is sort of like the grown-up Little Prince. He looks at everything with an optimistic mind but on his travels he encounters many difficult situations and his resolve begins to waver.

It offers a powerful insight into the true human condition veiled by the tale of a naive traveller. 

Buy Candide: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck Winnie the Pooh and Taoism could possibly have in common – I did too – but Benjamin Hoff writes a convincing argument for it in The Tao of Pooh.

What at first might seem like an alien concept in the West is given clarity through the allegory of one of our favourite childhood characters.

In The Tao of Pooh, Hoff explains Tao’s lessons on the benefits of simple living and how that can help you understand where you belong. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Whilst reading The Tao of Pooh you will not only learn about the principles of Taoism but also who you want to be and how you can get there.

It’s a simple journey but you’ll learn something new with each new step alongside your childhood companion, Winnie the Pooh.

Buy The Tao of Pooh: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels is a classic British read that continues to be adapted for children and for adults today.

It tells the story of Lemuel Gulliver who washes up on the fictional island of Lilliput. Swift uses Gulliver’s interactions with made-up cultures and peoples to satirise humankind and ridicule the customs society holds. 

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Much like the Little Prince, Gulliver finds himself encountering different cultures that give him an insight into human behaviour. Like Candide, it is another grown-up version of The Little Prince

Buy Gulliver’s Travels: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm has none of the charm of The Little Prince but it is one of the most well known allegorical tales to date.

Although it targeted Stalin’s Russia at the time of publication it remains relevant today when considering any restriction of people’s freedom.

Orwell uses farm animals instead of fictional universes but the effect is the same. The authors use that which is not human to demonstrate our own flaws.

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Both stories use extended metaphors to satirise humankind but veil their messages in stories that speak to children. Whilst The Little Prince is charming and whimsical, Animal Farm is brutish and harsh.   

Buy Animal Farm: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

RELATED: 17 Best Dystopian Novels for Teens

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

The Fox and the Star is another book for those that love the fox in The Little Prince. This first book by Coralie Bickford-Smith is a beautifully illustrated, very short story about change. It’s about a fox whose only friend is the Star that shines above the forest each night.

Her second book The Worm and the Bird is another beautiful illustrated book worth picking up. It reminds us to appreciate what we have and where we are and to stop rushing past the beautiful things in life.

Buy The Fox and the Star: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is not known for his works of children’s literature but he wrote many tales with allegorical lessons that adults can still learn from.

The most famous is The Happy Prince, a story of friendship and love above wealth and riches. His other tales also relay this same timeless lesson and each is beautifully written with selfless characters you can’t help but fall in love with.

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Not every story can have a happy ending, and unfortunately The Happy Prince and others end up anything but. They’ll leave you with a bitter-sweet feeling, just like The Little Prince.

Buy The Happy Prince: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

The 13 Clocks is a book that flies under the radar but is loved by everyone who has turned its pages. It’s a classic fairytale with a Princess locked away by an evil Duke and a gallant Prince who comes to take her away. Basically, it’s Shrek from the 1950s.

It may seem ridiculous at times but the language will sweep you away in this humorous and profound story. Whist children will enjoy the whimsical story and fun illustrations, adults can appreciate the wordplay and humour behind the story.

How is it similar to The Little Prince?

Also part fairytale, part parable, James Thurber creates an allegorical story disguised as a children’s tale that can be most appreciated when one is already an adult.

Plus, this sweet tale can give you the happy ending that The Little Prince deserved. 

Buy The 13 Clocks: Amazon | Waterstones

The classic French novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is so unique in its magic that it’s hard to find books like the Little Prince which can really give you the same reading experience. 

However, these thirteen books similar to The Little Prince are still well worth a read so do add them to your list of books to read next.

A couple of other books like the little prince that are worth a quick mention include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll for the wonderful whimsical stories and The Lord of the Flies for its savage allegory told through the story of young boys.

And if you don’t have a copy of The Little Prince yet (what!), grab one now: 

Buy The Little Prince: Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells

Pin now, read again later!

If you liked this post, check out these: 
The Return of the Young Prince by A G Roemmers
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Patrick Crawford

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Might 'The Phantom Tollbooth' be considered?

Hector Regala

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Thank you, Laura. I've listed all your recommendations to my wish list in Amazon to buy. I really love The Little Prince ever since I read it. I Hope all this will sway me again the way I felt with The Little Prince!