Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#17- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

17) The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Written by: William Joyce
Illustrated by: William Joyce and Joe Bluhm
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
48 pages

        I chose this book because it inspired an Academy Award nominated short film. I know, it's a strange reason, but I had to read it! This is by far one of my top three favorite books. It tells the story of Morris Lessmore, a normal man who loved words. He wrote in his journal every day until a tornado came and scattered everything he knew around him. He was searching for his book pages when he noticed a woman flying by on a string of flying books. Thinking it was peculiar, one of the books told Morris to follow him! Naturally, he complied. He was taken to a library filled with flying, talking books. There, Morris lived until he was an old man with his books. He decided it was time to go. He flew away on his own string of books, while his own story caught the attention of a little girl. The story starts in the same way it ends, with the opening of a book.

         The illustrations in this book are absolutely mind blowing. They are painted in great detail. The texture is really what makes it stand out. The bushes and shadows, which would usually be a normal flat color, are brought to life by daubs of color that resemble a pointulism technique. Everything in the book is in black and white except the library, talking books, and those who have to do with the library. Creatively, the last page is a double page spread which looks like a young girl's hands placed on the book. 

        I would recommend this book for students from second grade up to sixth grade. I read it to my first grade practicum class last semester and there was a lot that was over their heads. This book makes for a great read aloud after lunch or to settle the kids back down. It also would be a great writing prompt for the kids to write their own fantasy story. This book could be used in a lesson about libraries as well. I love it for it's appreciation of books and the power of stories.


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