A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the picture-book version of the same William Joyce story told in the popular app and short animated film of the same name that won an Academy Award in 2012. Morris' house is destroyed in a big storm, which may be a little disturbing for very young readers. Morris' death is presented gently, as he writes the last words of his story and then transforms from faded old man back to the vibrant young man of the beginning of the story and is carried up into the sky by a flock of books. This may take a little explaining.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Morris Lessmore loves books and is writing the story of his own life. But a big storm comes and turns his house upside down and scatters everything he knows, including the words of his book. Then he sees a lady be carried by a flock of flying books, and she sends him her favorite book, which becomes Morris' friend. The book (which has legs!) leads him to a big library, where he reads and cares for the thousands of books, all eager to be read. He shares the books with others and grows old, until he writes the last page of the book of his life -- a book that, after he's gone (carried into the sky by a flock of books), opens itself to a young person, just as a book had opened itself to Morris and changed his life.
Is it any good?
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a magical fable that made a delightful, wordless, Oscar-winning animated short film. But with text, it's even easier to grasp and fun to read over and over to catch all its nuances and dimensions. The art and story are gently surreal -- Morris sometimes falls into books and is lost for days, for example -- and fantastical, with books that walk, talk, fly, and love to be read, and a protagonist whose life is complete just reading and caring for books. It's odd and offbeat enough to avoid being sappy, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the the compelling nature of books you can hold in your hand. Do you prefer reading stories on paper pages or in an app, online, or on an ereader? What's the difference in the experience of each?
Morris Lessmore takes good care of his books. Who else do you know who takes care of books as their job? How do you take care of books at home?
Have you ever thought of writing a book of your own story -- recounting your joys and sorrows and all that you hope for, like the book Morris Lessmore writes?
- Author: William Joyce
- Illustrator: Joe Bluhm
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Numbers and Letters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Atheneum
- Publication date: June 19, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 17
- Number of pages: 56
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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