It feels unfair to the old standbys, the Corduroys, Red Wagons, Freight Trains, and Snowy Days, to start off my book recommendations with a book I read for the first time last week. I can’t help myself, the new book is too good to be put in line. And so I begin with a new favorite.
With it’s opening sentences, “Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books.”, I was immediately drawn to William Joyce‘s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Every part of this book, the words, the illustrations, the story, even the layout of the sentences, fits together perfectly. The cover, with the look of perplexed surprise on Morris’ face, the name “Lessmore”, the heartbreaking but peaceful plot, they are all brilliant.
The story follows Morris Lessmore through a series of events ranging from ordinary where he “writes one orderly page after another”, to devastating in which “every story has its upsets”, to magical where he meets a woman “being pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books” (I mean, really…that sentence!) until he finally finds his place in, where else but, a library. Here he discovers that “each book was whispering and invitation to adventure.”
And what could be more true about books than that! May your adventures begin “with the opening of a book.”