LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
‘Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.’
This is a wonderful, wonderful story, championing the joy of reading, a love for books, the magic that reading brings and the places it can take you.
Mr Morris Lessmore – an avid reader and writer – was perfectly content with his life. He woke every day and wrote his joys and sadness, hopes and dreams, page after orderly page. All was well, until one day, when the sky darkened and the wind blew and blew. After all, every story has its upsets. Everything that Morris knew and loved was left scattered, even the words in his book had been blown away. Morris, confused and desolate, wandered the landscape of greys until he saw the most bewildering sight: a beautiful lady, flying through the sky, pulled along by a colourful squadron of books! One of the books leads Morris to a lonely building – a library. Within its walls, books flutter from shelf to shelf, waiting with eagerness to be discovered and watching hopefully as the new arrival enters.
Here begins a new chapter in Morris’ life: he has found purpose in ordering the books, reading them, repairing them, sharing them. Morris – and accidental librarian – would become lost in the books. He rejoiced in recommending them to others: sometimes a favourite, sometimes a lost story that had been seldom read because, ‘Everyone’s story matters.’ Once again, he began to write his own story. At night, once all of the stories that needed to be told had been told, he filled the blank pages in his book. He wrote of his joys and sadness, hopes and dreams, page after orderly page. Time passed, days, months, years. Whilst Morris aged, the books remained the same. Morris knew it was time for him to move on, but he left behind his own story and took the stories he had read in his heart. The books are left writing with anticipation to be discovered once more.
The stunning illustrations that accompany this charming tale deserve to be poured over for hours. Clever use of colour transforms the greyish landscape and characters – those living without a love of literature – into vibrant hues as they begin to explore the stories and texts given to them by Morris. The little books that nest in the library and flutter from shelf to shelf are delightful characters and an excellent inspiration for library displays or reading corners. Before being made into a book, this beautiful story was a short, silent film (one which won an academy award). The story and illustrations from this enchanting film are perfectly captured within the pages of the book.
A joy to read, a joy to share (and a joy to watch) The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore is a real treasure and the perfect way to celebrate a love for reading and a love for books.
‘And so our story ends as it began…
…with the opening of a book.’
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by W. E Joyce,
illustrated by W. E. Joyce and Joe Bluhm
Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-0857079442