A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids see a vast, magical library that may remind them of their own city and school libraries. And the story poetically conveys the power of books to change lives, and the need to care for and sometimes repair books.
Books can lift your mood and change your life. You can even see them as your friends. Books are meant to be shared, and sharing books is a joy.
Positive Role Models
Morris Lessmore is lonely until books become his friends. Then he generously shares his books with others, and cares for the books he has.
Violence & Scariness
A big storm turns Morris Lessmore's house upside down. Morris comes to the end of his life when he writes the last words in his book and transforms from faded old man back to vibrant young man and is carried up into the sky by a flock of books.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.