The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

At a Glance:  We love this book and highly, highly recommend it.  It is currently nominated for a Cybils and the short film version of this story won an Academy Award.  It is a beautiful, beautiful book.  It’s a book for adults that have gone through a very rough time cleverly disguised as a children’s book.

The Longer Review:  This book is about a lot of things.  What do I think it is about?  I think it is about someone whose life is going along all orderly and according to plan.  Then something rocks, shakes, and blows it all away leaving him lost.  The funny thing about being lost is that I’ve found that’s precisely the moment when the opportunity of a lifetime comes along giving your life meaning and purpose.  For our hero, Mr. Lessmore, that moment comes in the form of books.  He is carried away by flying books and spends the rest of his life happily caring for books until the time comes for him to move on.  He tells his wonderful books that he will miss them but will keep them in his heart.  The books carry Mr. Lessmore away and he is magically transformed into the way he was the first time he met the books.    Soon after a little girl appears and she finds the book Mr. Lessmore has written.  The story ends with the girl opening his book.

Reading back over my summary, I can tell you that I’m not doing this book justice.  I’m also sure most people have heard of this book because there is a movie and an app related to this story.  We don’t watch television or do all that much with screens in general and seem to be in our two year old’s world — so we miss a lot of things.  The nice thing is that when we do catch up there are all these things that are old to everyone else but new to us.

So if you haven’t read this book — please do.  It has so much magic in it and it speaks to everyone experiencing the story on a different level.  Then there is the entire back story that goes along with this book — it is on the back flap of the book — read it.  (I’m not going to spoil it for you.)

Admittedly, I didn’t think my two year old was getting all that much out of the story.  I was more than okay with that because I was enjoying the story and I certainly didn’t think that there was anything wrong with him be exposed to this story at a young age.  Yet, yesterday afternoon while he was having a snack he looked up at the ceiling and said point blank to me, “Rather than looking down, he looked up.”  I wasn’t sure what he was talking about so I asked him, “Who looked up?”  He said, “Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  He then said very intensely while nodding, “Morris saw a lovely lady.”  I asked him if he’d like to read that book and he said yes.  So after our snack we sat down and read the book.  Whenever he does this kind of stuff it always surprises me and scares me a little.  I think that’s par for the course when it comes to toddlers though.

Where Obtained:  Library.

FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I love the short film and imagine I would love the book too. I love anything really that celebrates a love for books and imagination but this story in particular is brilliantly told and beautifully illustrated.


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