Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore (Paperback)W. E. Joyce (author)
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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 Lessmoreis a modern masterpiece, showing that in today's world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it's the story that we truly celebrate ~ and this story, no matter howyou tell it, begs to be read again and again.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 56
Weight: 306 g
Dimensions: 280 x 216 x 8 mm
The story, in a nutshell, concerns the titular book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose personal library is blown away in a terrible wind but who finds meaning caring for the books he finds in a marvelous library. Filled with both literary (Shakespeare, Humpty-Dumpty) and film references ("The""Wizard of Oz", "The Red Balloon" and Buster Keaton), the picture book version of Joyce's story has a quiet contemplative charm that demonstrates the continuing allure of the printed page. Paradoxically, the animated books of the film and app are captured as though in a series of frozen frames. The motif of the bound, printed book is everywhere. Even the furnishings and architectural details of the old-fashioned library in which the books "nest" like flying birds recall the codex. The unifying metaphor of life as story is a powerful one, as is the theme of the transformative power of books. The emphasis on connecting readers and books and the care of books pays homage to librarianship. Rich in allusions ("Less is More") and brilliant in depicting the passage of time (images conflate times of day, seasons and years), Joyce's work will inspire contemplation of the power of the book in its many forms.
As triumphant in book form as in animated and interactive ones."
--"Kirkus Reviews", starred review
"Joyce's magnificently illustrated book-about-books inspired--yet arrives after--his 2011 animated short film of the same name, which won an Oscar. The unusual sequence of film-to-book (there's an app, too) suggests that while books are indeed glorious things, what really matters is story. This one follows a dreamy bibliophile named Morris Lessmore, who loses his cherished book collection to a cataclysmic storm that's half Katrina (Joyce is from Louisiana) and half Wizard of Oz. After meeting a "lovely lady... being pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books," Morris finds an abandoned library whose books are alive and whose covers beat like the wings of birds. They flutter around him protectively, watch as he starts writing again, and care for him as he ages: "They read themselves to him each night." Underneath this book-about-books, there's a deeper story of love, loss, and healing, one that will be appreciated as much (if not more) by adults as by children."
* "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
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Absolutely loved this book. Recommended it to my niece...
A fantastic old fashioned book with lovely illustrations.it's about the value of a good book and how it's nice to have a change of book it also has connotation s on life it's self. A really nice book... More
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