The Little Prince is a star in Brazil

The Saint-Exupery’s legend in Brazil
We know that Saint-Exupéry visited Brazil during his time as a pilot for  l’Aéropostale. At a conference one day, he apparently said: « I was involved with the customs of Brazil. » Tradition also has it that a baobab he saw in Natal inspired the writer to include the tree in his tale of the Little Prince. In Florianópolis (a staging post for l’Aéropostale), a hotel where Saint-Exupéry used to stay during the 1920s goes by the name of Hotel Zeperri. History relates that a fisherman made the acquaintance of Saint-Exupéry on one of his stopovers.
The fisherman remembers the size of the notebook that accompanied the aviator everywhere, and his taste for fish soup and for fishing. In Saint-Exupéry, whom he nicknamed « Zeperri », the fisherman saw a man who was « different » from his contemporaries.





The Little Prince in Brazil
Statistics claim that Brazilians read only one book a year per head, but even so the Little Prince is a familiar figure in popular imagination. The Brazilian representatives of the Little Prince staged a play starring Luana Pioavani that has been watched by 200,000 theatre-goers, while the Little Prince himself has featured in fashion shows and at exhibitions and is now the subject of an exhibition at the vast Oca pavilion. The much-loved figure of the Little Prince also serves good causes like the environment or children in need.


The book is included in school programmes. Sheila Dryzun, who represents the Saint-Exupéry Estate in Brazil, has a glowing report to make of the book’s impact on young readers: « It is often the first book children have read that talks about love. » 



In a land of economic contrasts, one of the most recent demonstrations of the Little Prince’s impact on Brazil is the opening of the Pequeno Principe Hospital for sick children, which specialises in cardiac surgery. « Every child in the world is unique » is the motto of a hospital whose ethos is solidarity with the poorest and most disadvantaged.