The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

by William Joyce

Other authorsWilliam Joyce (Illustrator), Joe Bluhm (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2012

Call number



Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, 56 pages


Morris Lessmore loves words, stories and books, and after a tornado carries him to another land, dreary and colorless, he finds a single book in color that leads him to an amazing library where, he learns, the books need him as much as he needs them.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Whisper1
This is a delight for the mind and the eye. The cover is amazingly beautiful with gold like embossed title. This story was made into a short film which received an academy award.

If you love wonderful art work and a delightful story, then this is for you.

This is a book about the love of books and
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the transformation that occurs when we begin to love reading. Morris Lessmore loved words, stories and books. He intended to write a book , until the wind blew his house and town apart.

Scattered and tempest tossed, he was discovered by a walking, talking book which led him to a huge building of many, many books, each one with a wonderful story to tell.

Surrounded by incredible books, he gave some away, but kept many. He spent his life reading, reading and reading.

Late in life, Morris Lessmore was transported and few away, changing him back to the man he was before. Leaving behind his personal magical book to be discovered by a little girl, who, upon opening the first page of the book was transported into the rapture of reading.

While not large in the number of pages, it is vast in the telling of a story that readers can relate to and identify, leaving us know that our lives are stories and each page is uniquely special.

Highly recommended
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LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
The fantastic cover is what inspired me to pick up this delightful book. Morris Lessmore loves stories and books and is even writing his own life as one. But one day, a hurricane destroys his town and his book. After that he wanders, directionless, until a flying lady sends him her favourite book
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which leads him to the books 'nesting' house. Morris can hear the stories whispering to each other in the house books. This is just the beginning of him spending years with the stories, caring for them and sharing them with the community, all the time adding to his own story. Many years later, when he is stooped and crinkly, the books take care of him. When he is finished his own book, it is time for him to move on and fly away, his story preserved to tell itself to others.

This book is utterly delightful. The illustrations are fantastic and tell the story beautifully. The endpapers are sumptuous, the size and feel of the book is perfect. You can tell that a lot of thought and love has gone into this book.
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LibraryThing member maggie1944
Mr. Morris Lessmore loves books but unfortunately one day some very big winds come along and turn his bookish world upsey-daisy! And the flying books become a very important part of Mr. Lessmore finding a new way to live...

I don't want to spoil it for you. I loved the book, and the short movie on
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which the book is based (backwards from usual, eh) The illustrations by author William Joyce and Joe Bluhm are wonderfully whimsical and charming. I want to live in Mr. Lessmore's world, I think.

Go get the book!
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Having absolutely adored the animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which won an Academy Award in 2012, I have been eager to get my hands on this picture-book companion/retelling! I was not disappointed, as the book really delivers just as beautifully as the film,
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presenting a tale that would have any bibliophile swooning - being spirited away by bookish magic to an enchanted library, where one spends one's days reading, caring for books, and writing - and multimedia artwork that engage the visual senses and keep them entertained and engrossed as well. Really, this is what picture-books are meant to do - to engage the reader on multiple levels, with well integrated text and image - isn't it?

Dream-like, but utterly convincing, full of both pathos and humor - I loved the scene in which the books insist upon disorganizing themselves: the tragedies drawing near to the comedies, in order to gain comfort; the encyclopedias mixing with the comic books and fiction, having grown weary of facts - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the type of books that gives more, the more you sit with it. Interpreted in so many different ways - as a fantastic narrative, as a metaphor for the book-lover's life, as a story about leaving something behind for the next person, and adding to the sum of our knowledge - it can also just be enjoyed! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! The more I think about it, the more I am forced to conclude that four stars just isn't enough - this is definitely one of those rare five-star gems. I suspect I am going to have to track down a copy for myself... now if only the film were available for purchase as well! Perhaps with the book? (publishers, are you listening...?)
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LibraryThing member shookrl
This picture book is a companion to the short film of the same name. We follow Mr. Morris Lessmore as a hurricane hits his town and he is left to find his way after losing the story he is working on. Adding text to the silent film, we join Mr. Lessmore in the land he finds himself in as the
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caretaker of books. The vibrant illustrations and meaningful text all lead to a positive and enriching story experience for anyone who loves books, bookstores, libraries and readers of all kinds from the read aloud crew to the child in every adult.
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LibraryThing member wortklauberlein
Lovely story with marvelous drawings. The book pays tribute to librarians and libraries, books, the art of storytelling. But as with Audrey Niffenegger's "The Night Bookmobile," I was saddened by the author's equation of loneliness with a life lived in books.
LibraryThing member bell7
I'm not sure whether the book or the movie came first. Reading the note about the author indicates that Joyce has been working on this story - a tribute to library promotion pioneer Bill Morris - since 1999, but also leads me to believe that the award-winning short film was available before the
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picture book.

Be that as it may, this is a delightful book about the power of books and storytelling. The text and illustrations work together perfectly, making you want to linger and soak up the details of every page. The multimedia illustrations often use muted colors, with a lot of creams and browns, evoking the look of an old book itself. This is a wonderfully crafted book I would love to put on my personal library bookshelves.
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LibraryThing member SkylarJade
This books is absolutely fantastic. It's fun to read and the art is gorgeous. It is the sort of book that different people might take away different meanings from, yet that everyone will love. The art and use of color within the book was fantastic. The story itself was cute and fun to read.
LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Originally an animated short film of the same name, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore has beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story that book-lovers will appreciate.

I read this the other day and, then I watched the film, and I was completely blown away by them both. They are
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both absolutely incredible.
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LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
This was nice. It got the message "the best thing to do with your life is be happy" across in a non-patronizing way. I do think it's funny how desperate we are to cram books down kids' throats till they love them though.
LibraryThing member TheLoopyLibrarian
I have to admit to a bias before I give my review of this book. I absolutely love books. I read books. I collect books. I decorate with books. I blog about books. I review books. I tweet about books. I talk animatedly about books. And....I'm a librarian. So, naturally, I related to the message of
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this book which was to enjoy your books but not to the point of missing out on life. In fact, sharing books is more fun than collecting books. I'd rather lend my books than have them gather dust. Mr. Morris Lessmore is a wonderful character to whom I, and any other avid reader, can relate. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. When Mr. Lessmore flies away with his books, I am inspired. If I were still a Children's Librarian, I would have read this book in storytime. A lot. Would I have liked it as much if it was, say, The Fantastic Flying Spoons of Mr. Morris Lessmore? Nope. I hate cooking. But I love reading, and I love books that inspire reading. Especially, in such a beautiful and imaginative way.
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LibraryThing member MFeil
"Everyone's story matters," said Morris.
My favorite! This book tells the story of how reading can open doors for your life. The illustrations are amazingly life-like showing people with a book in color, and people without in black and white. The ending of the book is thought of only just the
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LibraryThing member Eglawren
A delightful story about a man who loses everything and discovers a library that becomes his home. Amazing illustrations!
LibraryThing member Ashley_Peterson
This book is probably one of my favorites after reading it. My favorite page was the ending page where it had the hands of the new little girl who would come take care of the book, one hand on each page, and the actual pages of the book were the start of Mr. Morris's story. It felt like you were
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the little girl. I enjoyed being able to make connections in the story. Such as how he "passed on" and was carried away by flying books just as the woman he saw must have previously been in his position and had passed away, and now a young girl had saw him and was joining the building of books (almost like a library I got the feeling of).
This story is about a young man named Mr. Morris who loves words, books, stories etc. One day a storm happens which looses all his books, including the words and letters on the pages and the stories in the books. Mr. Morris wonders off in search of them. He comes across a woman who is flying away with flying books. She gives him her favorite book which leads Morris to a building that is filled with books (reminds me of a library). There Mr. Morris takes care of the books, reads them, and lends them to people in the community; All the while writing his own story in his book. Time goes on and soon Mr. Morris is old, and aging. The books he's spent his life caring for now take care of him. One day, he finally finishes his story and decides to leave. Flying away with flying books just like the lady he saw before. A young girl then appears at the building and the books give her Mr. Morris's book and she begins reading it.
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LibraryThing member Chelz517
This book is an imaginative story about a young man named Mr. Morris who is trying to write a story about his hopes and dreams but he wants his book to fly and so he goes on an adventure with flying books and at the end his dream came true. This book is so imaginative for children and intriguing at
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the same time for adults. Its fun and cute with the amazing illustrations of black and white and color pictures. Children would love to read and look through this book to see the adventures that books can take you on and it shows the importance of books in our lives
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LibraryThing member Lib4282012
I loved reading this book so much that I read it twice in a row. The illustrations are absolutely incredible. Each picture is like a work of art. The colors are so rich and vibrant, and I just felt I was melting into each page. The story is beautiful also, and relays a wonderful message about the
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value of reading.
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LibraryThing member flashlight_reader
This was such a great find at Barnes and Noble! I was not looking for picture books, but the cover caught my eye. You can't tell from this picture, but the lettering looks like gold leaf. Gorgeous. As stood in the children's section while my oldest soon looked for a book, I started reading The
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Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore. Instant love.

What does it take to make me go nuts for a children's book? That's pretty simple: a great hidden message between the covers. I knew I had to own this book and use it with my class. (I managed to use it for a prediction lesson.) But what I adored the most about this book is the subtle message about the importance of public libraries. Every book lover should read this book because we can all appreciate our libraries. That wasn't the only jewel hidden on the pages. On a deeper level, the book discusses the power of (individual) stories. I absolutely loved the line "everyone has a story to tell." Sigh.

Not convinced that this book deserves your attention? Fine. Don't take my word for it then. Go check out the author's website to see for yourself. It will blow you away. Oh, and did I mention that since this book is so incredible it has it's own iphone App? Oh yeah.
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LibraryThing member callmecayce
My sister recommended this book to me. It's adorable, sweet and made me tear up a little. A very good job for a short picture book. All libraries should own it!
LibraryThing member jennycheckers
This is a fantastic book written by William Joyce and illustrated by Joe Bluhm. Published in 2012, this imaginative story grabs readers right away and takes them flying through the magical world of books. There's an Ipad app for this book that turns the story into a 3-D experience, with words
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flying off of the page, and images of the seasons changing over time. The story comes full circle, and by the end, the reader feels like they've discovered books for the very first time. This book makes concrete the abstract idea of "the magic of books" which all teachers, caregivers, librarians, and parents should share with the kids in their lives.

In my classroom, I would love to share this book to show the magic of storytelling, as well as for discussing new and exciting vocabulary words. Also, the illustrations are so fantastic that a lesson about how artists show mood in their illustrations could easily be done. Grades K-5
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LibraryThing member JudesThree
Wonderful story of a person completely in love with books, writing and the world that opens up
LibraryThing member ashleyhill2012
This book was about Mr. Morris who began to write his book when a big storm came and washed away all the words in his book. He became very depressed and started walking until he found a big library full of books. He gets engulfed in his books, they grow old together, and then Mr. Morris finishes
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his book and leaves it for the next person to read all about. This book was really good about using color to distinguish feeling. I also enjoyed the theme of this book of love and friendship. I think it could be used very well in a classroom setting to demonstrate the importance of working together and finding love in the things that you do. In a classroom kids could use this to write a story about something they have been sad about, but then eventually made them happy.
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LibraryThing member richardgulick
"Morris Lessmore loved words." That is how you are introduced to the title character, a man that loved to read and write. The pictures are lively and fool of color... until a storm blows through and scattered everything, even the words from Morris' book. After that the colors have fade to
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match his sadness. Then a lady, in full color, being flown around by books gave Morris her favorite book. The book lead him to the library. Now morris is the onlything not full of color. He beagns reading again, and regains his color. Morris continues to read and work on his own book. when his book is finished he leaves the library and his book for someone else to find and discover the love of reading.
This was a cute book, with a good message. I personnel have only recently rediscovered my love for reading, so in a way I can relate to Morris... Except for the flying books and all.
1.)This book could be great for introducing the children to the school library, or maybe a feild trip to the local library.
2.)Talk to the class about Morris' own book. and then work on making a class book together.
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LibraryThing member jenstrongin
Anyone who has a deep love of books will fall in love with this beautiful short story.
LibraryThing member LittleWhale
I really, really love The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore! Brilliantly illustrated and beautifully written, this book is one every honest-to-goodness book lover knows but still needs to read again and again. Following the trials of Mr. Lessmore as he re-builds his life after a
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disaster leaves him with a hat, a cane and an empty book, Lessmore finds himself the guardian of a library filled with fantastic flying books. William Joyce crafts a story about stories and the power of reading, re-telling, sharing and loving them.
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LibraryThing member DJRyskie
This story touches your heart as you read it and does not let go until you close it. It follows the life of a man who discovers books and does not let go of them until he passes on. It stands as a kind of metaphor for the power books can have. The most touching part is that the book ends as it
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began and shows children that books are ageless and will always stand the test of time.
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Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2015)
Georgia Children's Book Award (Finalist — Picturebook — 2014)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 2014)
Southern Book Prize (Winner — Children's — 2013)






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