Mr. Morris Lessmore

Sometime last year (or maybe the year before that), Amazon announced that they sell more electronic books for use on its Kindle reader than the traditional route. I’m a fan of the Kindle with some notable exceptions. One of these is Children’s books. I still have a number of the books my mother read to me when I was kid. I’m glad she kept them. There is nothing like reading the lines, “NO DESSERTS EVER UNLESS PUPPIES NEVER DIG HOLES UNDER THIS FENCE AGAIN!” Now, after you read it for the umpteenth time it does eventually lose its appeal. Good books have meaning. And reading a thirty plus year old book to your kid is memorable. With the shelf life of electronic devices, I doubt my Kindle makes it five years. Does anyone use a five year old cell phone anymore?

Recently, I picked up The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for my kid, and I’m glad I did. It’s rare that a children’s book has as much or more meaning to an adult than it does for a kid. Morris loves 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.” The books follows Morris through life’s ups and downs, describing it through the eyes of a book. My kid loved the pictures. It’s a well illustrated work with books flying around in each step of Morris’ journey. The author started the book in 1999 but its progress was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. The story evolved through the years and was put on hold as the author had multiple eye surgeries. I’m glad he finished the work. Perseverance is a good thing. Last year, the book was adapted for a movie and picked up an Academy Award for best animated short film.

Through the final few pages, it’s powerful to see Morris’ journey come to a close, to see what he left behind, and to see the story end like it started. One day when I’m old and gray, I might pass all of my books on. But I may have to buy an extra copy of this fantastic flying book. Or, maybe not. Grandparents have to read stories to their grandkids too. Read this book.