Analogical reasoning (AR) is a cornerstone of human cognition. Two main theories have historically been proposed to account for the ontogeny of AR. They propose that analogical skills are constrained by children's logical skills or limited knowledge of the relations to be considered. We adopt an alternative perspective in this review paper suggesting that AR abilities depend on the efficiency of executive control. We present convergent data collected in children and monkeys highlighting the role of three main executive functions: inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and working memory updating. The analysis of children's reasoning suggests that the contribution of relational knowledge and executive control to analogical reasoning cannot be considered independently. (C) 2013 Societe francaise de psychologie. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.