Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fantastic Flying Books

I love this book.  It fascinates me.  It piques my curiosity.  It makes me wonder.  It makes me ponder.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (click to see more) is brilliant!  It's charming.  (As is the Academy Award winning film.)
     When you read a book that opens like this...

Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.

His life was a book of his own writing, one orderly page
after another.  He would open it every morning and write
of his joys and sorrows, of all that he knew
and everything that he hoped for.

     When I read it to my students last week (as part of our study of how "Wise Readers Monitor for Meaning"), we all decided that those very words were worth tucking into our hearts and minds... to make them available when we need inspiration as readers and writers.  My friend, Linda, summed it up this way, "I think the 'wow' was... Everyone's story matters.  Just sayin'!"  She right.
     Read the book to your students.  Then if you have a chance, buy the short film on iTunes.  Watch it.  Show it to your students.  Then ask them, "So what do you think?"  You'll be amazed by their answers!  William Joyce more than deserved the accolades and awards for this brilliant piece of work.  One of my students say, "It's really about heaven, I think... it's about growing old and letting go..."  Story matters.
     This is a run, don't walk, kind of book!  This is a get-to-your-favorite-independent-bookstore-and-buy-it kind of book!  This is a book that should be in your classroom and on your coffee table.  It's generational.  It's a metaphor for life--especially if you love books, love reading, love words.  Thank you, William Joyce, for sharing your brilliance.

And so our story ends as it began...
...with the opening of a book!


  1. I read this for the first time not too long ago and fell in love with it. My students did, too. The short film adaptation is just as magical and meaningful.

  2. We love this one, too! I showed the film last year before the book came out and we had some great conversations. Putting the words to it in the book added to the conversation because at times kids' interpretations were different--and it added the "everyone's story matters" piece for us. I loved it! We've watched the film a few times this year because we see new things each time. Have you seen the interactive iPad app?

    Don't you just love finding books like this one?