Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.
But every story has its upsets.
Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds.
But the power of story will save the day.
Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children's literature, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today's world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it's story that we truly celebrate--and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again.
* "If you loved the Oscar-winning film that goes by the same title, you will take to heart the book on which it is based. William Joyce exploits each medium to the fullest.
Morris Lessmore's life 'was a book of his own writing, one orderly page after another.' This serene opening scene shatters when a twister carries Morris away and sets him down in a black-and-white terrain. A woman appears in vibrant color in the sky, pulled by 'a festive squadron of flying books.' She sends down a volume with Humpty Dumpty featured in its pages, and the fellow leads Morris to a large building where light shines through the windows and shelves of books flutter their pages, 'as if each book were asking to be opened.'
In Joyce's artwork, the books come to life as a full cast of characters. After Morris repairs a damaged book, he reads it to revive it. He runs across the tops of capital letters and dangles from the hook of a "J". 'All stories matter, '" he concludes. As Morris distributes books to his queued-up neighbors, they turn from black-and-white sketches to full-color portraits. In the most moving scene, the books surround the now white-haired man: 'Morris Lessmore became stooped and crinkly. But the books never changed. Their stories stayed the same, '" and they care for him as he has cared for them.
Morris stands in for all book lovers, and reminds us of the way stories live on only when we share them."
-- "Shelf Awareness", starred review