I had never heard of this book until my friend Shawnee, as I was leaving her house, grabbed a well-travelled copy of THE LITTLE PRINCE off her bookshelf and pressed it into my hands, almost as an afterthought. She said, "Read this." And I did.
I was pleasantly surprised. This is a children's book in the same way that The Chronicles of Narnia are: easy enough for kids to read (or have read to them), but layered enough for adults to appreciate. Big lessons in little packages.
THE LITTLE PRINCE is a strange story, one that oddly (and probably intentionally) resembles a dream--the narrator crashes his airplane in the desert and is visited by a weird little prince who is visiting the planet from his home-astroid. The prince teaches him many things about this world and many others, and the narrator is heartbroken when eventually...well. You read it. It'll take an afternoon.
In fact, you can read it right now. Here is a link to a website where you can, miracle of miracles, read the whole book online: The Little Prince.
Did I mention that the book is illustrated?