The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Our BLG book this week was the amazing book by William Joyce, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Thank you to Magnus for sharing it with us! I have a special amount of book love for this book and included it in my 2012 favourites.


My students had actually heard this book once before – on the very first day of school because I shared it with them to share what our year was going to be about – a year surrounded by books and reading. And therefore, magic! When Magnus brought the book out of his briefcase, there was instant excitement and one little whispered comment, ” I can’t wait to hear this book again.” It is fitting, I think, to share a book that celebrates books as treasures, as friends, as world changers again and again. I was excited to sit back and be read to – when it was this book in the reader’s hands (and me in the audience)!

This book begins:

Morris Lessmore loved words.

He loved stories.

He loved books.

As soon as Magnus read these words, one of the boys in our class was up on his knees pointing at me. “Hey! Hey! Ms. Gelson loves all of those things! This book really was made for her!” I beamed through the rest of the story, watching my class literally become entangled with the ideas, the images and the love of books. What was fascinating is that they were so hooked into the story that they couldn’t stop debating whether it was true or not. Magnus read and little whispered debates persisted, sometimes becoming quite intense.

Is this a true story?” 

“No because books can’t really fly.”

“Yeah, no. Books don’t have legs.”

“But storms are real.”

“His house could go upside down in a tornado.”

“It went to colour from black and white. That means it’s made up like a movie.”

“This is so not true.”

“Yes, it could be I think.”

Students loved the story. They loved that the books were characters and that the books were Morris’s friends. When Morris got old and passed on, the debates began again.

“Now he is in heaven. And he’s younger.”

“It’s not heaven. It’s just the sky.”

Magnus shared his own love of books with us, that he has books all over his home and that books are his friends. He shared with the students that he loves the feeling of being lost in a book. We all just savoured the feeling of book love and the moments just following a beautiful book shared aloud. I think the reviews this week are particularly wonderful!

Student reviewers (little reviewers with large amounts of book love in their hearts) respond:

Gracie: My favourite part is when he flies on the books. It’s cool. Was that room full of books a library? Why did a big wind come and blow his house away? Did the guy live alone? I also liked when he got lost in the book. It looked fun. I love books !!!!!! And I loved this story!!!!! I also liked when the books read themselves to him. I liked when the little girl came in and it started all over again.

Kevin: I love books because it feels good. My favourite part was when the books read to the boy. Was the book real? The book was very good today. How could the boy be so tiny? I like when the books fly.

Ava: I like when the book took care of the old man. Ms. Gelson loves books. I love Heidi Heckelbeck. I am on number 6.

Giovanni: I love books because you can learn.

Andrew: My favourite part was when the book read to Mr. M. It made me happy. Books make me happy. Was the book real or not because Ms. Gelson reads books to us for learning. She calls them fiction and nonfiction and information story books.

Kala: I like the part when the girl came in. Did he pass away? Did you make a tornado?

Heman: My favourite part is when there was an earthquake. I liked it when Morris Lessmore found the library. It was kind when Morris Lessmore gave books to other people.

Kassidy: It was funny when Morris was upside down and when he was running and jumped. I like that he likes books. I like when the man laid on a big pile of books. I love books because sometimes, you do not know what it looks like and you have to think.

Arianne: I love books because you can learn new words. Because as you grow up, you can read more and more and more.

Kelvin: When the books started to fly was my favourite. My two teachers and Miriam love books. Because they travel in books and see everything.

Vicky: My favourite part was when the books read back to Mr. Morris Lessmore. Is the book real or not? This book made me happy because Mr. Morris Lessmore got lost in books.

Ethan: I love it because I love books. Because it makes you smart.

Ashley: My favourite part was that the book floated. But books don’t float. It’s not for real. I like the book so much. It seems like the book is kind. My teacher loves books so so so so so so so much!!!

Shereese: Is the book real? Where do you live William Joyce? I like this book. When did you make it? Even Ms. Gelson likes the book too! Do you like your book too? And Happy Valentines William Joyce.

2 thoughts on “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

  1. Hey kids, I LOVED your reviews about the Morris Lessmore book. I could tell you were enthralled by the story, and why not? It’s a great story!

    And it’s a true story too – lots of you were asking whether the story could actually happen, and here’s the amazing thing: lots of stories are true, even if they didn’t really happen.

    Huh? True and make believe at the same time??? That sounds weird, doesn’t it? But that’s just how books are and that’s one of the reasons why reading is so great. It helps you learn all kinds of important and true things, AND you have fun doing it! Like when Morris gets lost and wanders around in a story…. OK, maybe a person can’t really be lost inside a book, but like I told you, your IMAGINATION absolutely CAN get lost in a story, and if that story is where your mind goes visiting… well, then you really are there in the most important kind of way.

    You are all turning into such good and inquisitive readers yourselves, and it’s a treat for me to read with all of you. Just like Ms.Gelson, I REALLY like being read to!

    See you soon!

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