Book Review: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

By William Joyce

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy June 15, 2022

Recommended Ages: 5 - 9 years old

A literary lover’s dream picture book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is an emotional read. Mr. Lessmore loves words, stories and books but one day he finds himself caught in a cataclysmic twister reminiscent of an Oz adventure. In an upside-down black and white town, Lessmore finds himself wandering until he comes to a happy happenstance, a colorful lady being pulled by a tassel of flying books. Seeing that Morris is in need of a good story she sends him her favorite. The amiable book leads Morris to a building full of nesting books. From there, his story begins. Mr. Lessmore takes care of the books, binding, mending, sharing and reading, all the while writing his own story.

This multi-dimensional book can draw out many themes. Inside you’ll find the idea of finding purpose, love and a very subtle leaning in the idea of someone passing away. This story can at times be both sad and inspiring. Depending on your reader these elements may go unnoticed, but the book remains charming with its illustrations and character. Reading with my four-year-old she enjoyed the animated elements of flying books, whimsical illustrations and silly notions, while I contemplated a deeper meaning in each page.

Fantastic Flying Books is just asking to be paired with more activities. If you feel inspired create your own book like Mr. Lessmore, by folding together several sheets of paper. Have a book-themed party where people attend dressed up as one of their favorite book characters. Make a collage of your favorite words or visit a library to see if any book is calling out to you! Whatever you do be sure to check out this book from your local library and enjoy its adventure.

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.