Chinese Bookworms Love The Little Prince

Penned by French aristocrat, military aviator, and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the novella Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince is one of the best-selling books of all time (200 million copies worldwide). 

Simple enough to be enjoyed by children but packed with philosophical themes for the appreciation of adults, The Little Prince is a huge hit in China. There are over 70 translations of the novella in both simplified and traditional Chinese.

Translated by Ma Zhenpin in 2003, one of the earliest Mandarin versions of the novella has 706,495 reviews on Douban, a Chinese platform comparable to IMDb.

An animated adaptation of the book (directed by Mark Osbourne) hit theaters in 2015 and was well-received in China. In fact, China was the first country to offer the film in two languages Famed stars like Huang Bo, Huang Lei, and Yuan Quan did the voiceovers for the Mandarin version.

This month, fans of de Saint-Exupéry’s literary icon in China have been pleasantly surprised by a FamilyMart promotion: the convenience store chain is celebrating its 19th anniversary in the country by releasing The Little Prince-themed treats.

Some snacks from the series that RADII has sighted so far include two types of onigiri (tuna mayo and meat floss) and a rose-shaped pastry — a reference to a main character in the book.

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