Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Coming in 15th for 2012 Best Picture Book

Okay, I'm just going to go ahead and say what I can't find a single person wrote, but I refuse to believe I am the only one who thought it...

Well, if that isn't the most pretentious title I've read in a long time.

That being said, let's move on to the book. I get that everyone is so fascinated by this book because of it's beautiful and elaborate artwork.

I even get that this story touches all of us in a I'm-a-major-book-nerd-and-you-just-said-exactly-how-I-feel-about-books-in-a-way-no-one-around-me-seems-to-understand (except everyone on Goodreads) sort of way.

What I don't understand is how this is continuing to win support as a children's picture novel.

Yes, I read this to my son. He thought the animation was fun. Let me explain that my child and I read books together almost every single night, that he is very articulate, and logical, and yet, he had no idea what the Hell was happening in this book.

Is that because I have a mundane reading voice that allowed all the words to jumble together? I don't believe so.

Is that because he was distracted and not paying attention? No, because the animation, like I said, pulled him into the story.

The problem was this book was ridden with complex - think young children - words/speech and dripping in metaphors. Perhaps, I missed the aim for age in this picture book. Most picture books are aimed at about 2-7 (in my opinion), because then your child learns to read and begins to explore magical worlds that pictures cannot explain, like Harry Potter. So, I assume that William Joyce was aiming this novel at children just like my 5 year old son.

Who, by the way, could not follow the story at all on his own. Sure, I can explain it to him, but I feel if I have to go over every word and page I am taking away from the magic of the story. And considering this picture book is aimed at the topic of the "magic of stories," seemingly without explanation, that sort of seems ironic.

Regardless, I think this is the sort of wonderful picture short that Pixar would make and win an award for. Too bad Moonbot Studios beat them to it?

I don't think the story or the art work is bad mind you, I just think it is about the most gimmicky, pretentious story book of our time.


  1. Just found you on Goodreads. Great review. I read this book too. New follower :)

    1. Thank you. I checked your blog out as well and followed you back. Looks good! :)