Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce {2012}


Another much newer book than most of the titles I'm featuring in this series, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is destined to become a classic. Exquisite artwork in rich colors combines with a sweet and sad, yet ultimately positive, story. The language matches the rich colors and textures of the illustrations. All in all, it is a masterpiece. A must-read for all writers and bibliophiles.

Plot. Morris Lessmore is very contented with his life- he loves words, writing, and books, and is happily composing his own story. Then one day a hurricane blows in, upsetting his entire life. Fortunately, he bumps into a woman who knows that all he needs is a good story. She hands him her favorite, who then leads him to the nesting place of all the books {think: library}. Morris buries himself in the joys and sorrows of the written world and continues writing his own story. He grows old, but when it's time to move on another reader comes to take his place.

Author. William Joyce wrote this in honor of a library promoting friend, the late Bill Morris. Hurricane Katrina interrupted the progress of his book, and he hints at that in the text with Mr. Morris Lessmore's own hurricane. It took him over a decade to complete this little gem, and all of the time and thought that went into it can be plainly seen. I glean a little more insight and appreciation for all of the details with every read through. Apparently, he is also the creator of Rolie Polie Olie {remember that show? book first}, and helped create conceptual characters for both Toy Story and A Bug's Life. A very interesting guy!

Thematic Elements. To quote Morris, "Everyone's story matters." Characters turn from black and white to vivid color as they open books, artfully displaying the importance of a book in changing and bringing depth to a person's life. Death is hinted at, but it will go over your children's heads. I think that I appreciated all of the themes in this book more than my daughter can {yet}, and I haven't tried to explain them to her. We just really enjoy the story, and I try not to tear up at the content.

Educational Opportunities. If you haven't already, or don't regularly, take your child to the library {have you picked up yet that I'm a fan of those?}. Show her how the books "nest" on the shelves :). Be an active reader yourself, and show him how you believe in the power of story by example.

Activities. This little, simple craft looks sweet and fun!

Other Resources. Before the book was released, William Joyce's story was an Oscar-winning short film and an app. The film is lovely, though we haven't yet tried the app. Have you? How was it? Do share in the comments.

Be sure to also check out... William Joyce is apparently a rather prolific children's author {though he claims this book as the most personal of his career}. I haven't read any of his other books yet, but definitely want to give them a try! You can read all about him and his work here.



Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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