I had heard that the short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore had won an Academy Award last year. I hadn’t paid much attention to it at the time, but when I noticed that a book of the story that inspired the film was going to be published I had to find out what all the fuss was about. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to rave about a film as much as I do about The Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. No movie that I’ve heard of, or watched, has more completely captured the magic of books. This film is absolutely stunning and EVERYONE should see it.! It’s fifteen minutes of pure joy and, if you love books, it’s guaranteed to make you incredibly happy. There is no dialogue at all so you have to figure out what is happening in the story, which I think is part of the appeal. I’ve posted the link to the film on YouTube below so you can experience it for yourself, and you can buy it on iTunes (I bought it so that I can take it wherever I go).
The creator of the film, William Joyce, has now brought the story to life on the page, in a beautiful hardback picture book. The illustrations in the book are even more beautiful than the moving images in the film and I read the book several times just to stare at them. The cover really jumps out at you, and I’d challenge any book lover to walk past it without picking it up to see what’s inside. Unlike the film, there is text in the book so you are told what is happening (I suggest watching the film before reading the book as I think you get more out of the story that way). I especially like the design of the book, from the beautiful binding and dust jacket, to the way the text and illustrations interact on the page.
Like Morris Lessmore, we are whipped up by the wind and whisked away to a land where books fly, dance, and even play the piano. As soon as you see this book or watch the film you will fall in love with the story and want to return to it again and again. I discovered that William Joyce has also written a fantasy series for children, called The Guardians of Childhood, that is currently being made into an animated movie called Rise of the Guardians, due out later this year.
Watch the Academy Award-winning film below and grab a copy of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from your library or bookshop.