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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore



Last updated Monday, January 12, 2015

Author: William Joyce
Illustrator: Joe Bluhm
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 1442457023
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2015

Synopsis:
Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its upsets.

Everything in Morris Lessmore’s life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds. But the power of story will save the day.

Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children’s literature,The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again.

Note to readers:
•  You may want to read the author's page on the back jacket and discuss Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like to write stories or keep a journal? What do you enjoy about writing?
•  Where do you go when you want to see a lot of books in one place?
•  Do you think books can come alive?
•  Have you ever gotten "lost" in a story?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why did Mr. Lessmore look for the library?
•  What books do you think he was able to read over all those years?
•  What about the books made Mr. Lessmore happy? Why was he sad at the beginning of the book?
•  What lessons can you learn from books?

Vocabulary:
•  orderly - neatly arranged
•  squadron - a group of people
•  amiable - pleasant or friendly
•  extraordinary - amazing; incredible
•  chatter - to talk quickly about unimportant things
•  seldom - not often; rarely
•  habit - an act or practice so frequently repeated as to become automatic
•  satisfaction - supplied fully with what is desired, expected, or needed
•  scatter - to throw about in various places; sprinkle; strew
•  sorrow - pain or distress of mind because of loss, injury or misfortune; grief; anguish
•  wander - to move or travel about without destination or purpose; roam, rove

Craft ideas:
•  Create a journal/book for the kids to write down their thoughts, ideas, and stories. You will need one piece of construction paper (for the cover) & at least 3 pages of white copy paper. Fold the pieces of paper in half, width-wise. Put the white pages inside the folded construction paper and staple along the seam. Have the kids personalize the covers of their journals/books.
•  Draw a picture of what would happen if a hurricane hit your home. What personal items of yours or your families would be flying in the air -- basketballs, books, XBOX, a TV? On the back of the picture, have the kids list 5 items they would take with them in an emergency.

Special activities:
•  If time permits, talk about what to do in an emergency, such as a hurricane or (more likely) an earthquake. What items to take, following teacher's/parent's instructions, what to do. Besides water, shoes, and clothes, suggest they take books since there might not be electricity to power a TV if they had to relocate.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!