Whitney Hoffman called me early last month eager to get my opinion of an innovative new children’s book experience.
“It’s called The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore,” she said. “I’m really interested in what you think.”
Andrea, my wife, and I ran a podcast and blog about children’s books and their creators. We put the site on hiatus after just over three years and six hundred episodes. Whitney was one of our outspoken fans. (By the way, I recently learned the links to the podcast audio files are broken and I haven’t had a moment to look into the problem and fix it, yet. I will.)
It turns out the Morris Lessmore iPad app isn’t just an interactive picture book experience (missing only the feel and smell of a great print book), it’s part of a Morris Lessmore digital content extravaganza which includes a brilliant short film in the style of Buster Keaton with a little Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton thrown in, and a series of making-of videos available as a podcast.
Morris Lessmore and the people behind him brought books and stories to life beyond just the characters in the film and app. Morris channels the important relationship we have with stories — those in books and those we write themselves through our own lives. After reading/interacting with the book earlier this evening, Bayla, Andrea and I watched the movie. It brought back memories of discovering great books when Lucya and Bayla were much smaller, and made me miss sharing our passion for children’s books through our podcast.
Technology and movies will never truly replace printed books. However, they play an important role in reminding us why they mean so much. If we were still producing Just One More Book, I’d be requesting interviews right now.
Thank you Morris.