Monday, 26 January 2015

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm(Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Written and Illustrated by
W.E. Joyce and Joe Bluhm

Published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books

This is a book that has eluded us for so long but we've finally caught up with it, hooray. We love books that celebrate books, that celebrate that wonderful feeling when you immerse yourself in a story so deeply that you find yourself thinking about it later, hear yourself gushing about it to others, and get a sort of tingly thrill whenever you spot a copy in a book store or library, or tucked under someone else's arm.

That's how we feel about "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore". It was worth the wait.

Morris is a lovely character, who has a wonderful book collection crammed into his modest home. One day after a terrible storm, Morris finds his beloved collection trashed, and wanders the devastated landscape lost and folorn. Folorn is an expression Morris does so well. He's part-based on the looks of Buster Keaton so his doleful puppy-dog eyes make us sympathise with his plight (not to mention the fact that the poor fellah loses a whole stack of books).

Thankfully as he wanders the land, he spies a lovely young girl flying off into the sky, being tugged aloft by a whole flock of flying books. Anxious to find out where these books came from, he follows them to their roost, the most amazing library crammed with these friendly tomes (needless to say, we completely fell head over heels for one little book that's cleverly designed to look like a happy little Humpty Dumpty).

Morris spends the rest of his life reading stories, listening to them, caring for the books until he becomes old and frail and lets the books read themselves to him. Soon it's time to move on and our story begins anew as Morris is taken aloft, just as the young girl was before - leaving a legacy of stories including his own.

The book is so delightful and so easy to become immersed in. We'll be picking up a copy of our own, and tracking down the animated feature based on the book too. In the meantime, if you're searching for an inspirational and celebratory book about books, this should definitely be your next port of call.

Charlotte's best bit: At the end of the story, a young girl very like Charlotte follows in Morris's footsteps. A lovely moment as she discovers Morris' story for herself.

Daddy's Favourite bit: A glorious story, the most gorgeous art style, and a heart-meltingly touching homage to our most favourite thing, a durned good book.

(Borrowed for review from our wonderful Abingdon Library)

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