To Drink or Not to Drink?

There was a moment of recognition and blossoming love in my house last night as I sat down and reread The Little Prince.  I must admit that I am very partial to this book and incredibly excited that it has been picked as a the first ever global read aloud.  My father writes musicals and as a child ,the first musical he ever created was based around this book.  I therefore feel that I grew up with this book and that every time I reread it, a new lesson is given to me.  This is the magic I cannot wait to share with my students and students around the world.

As I reread it though, I got to Chapter XII in which the prince goes to the planet inhabited by the drunkard.  Immediately I was on alert; would this be appropriate for my 4th grade students to hear.  The chapter is very short, only 2 pages, and not essential to the whole story.  However, after more thought I realized that my students have been exposed to much worse language than that and that it is not depicting drinking as something good but instead as a way for adults to become even more inexplicable and confusing to children.  So I will be leaving this part in as I read the story aloud; after all many children do not understand either, why we as adults surround ourselves with alcohol sometimes.  However, you may feel different.  You know your school, your kids and yourself.  So if you do not feel comfortable with the chapter, skip it.  Just don’t let it ruin the experience of the book.