Generally when we go to the library, we are looking for train books. Sometimes new train books that we have never seen before and sometimes old favorites that we really need to find again. And sometimes, sigh, we are looking for some book we had once that had a train on a page in it somewhere even though it wasn’t really even about trains. Poor Ms. Celia, who often helps us out on those days. I always feel like apologizing, but saying you’re sorry because your kid is obsessed with a book is a strange place to make a stand. We’re all supposed to be relieved he wants to read anything, right?
Sometimes, on a good day, I can convince Finn to check out a book that I think is interesting. Which is how we came home with this one, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and illustrated by Joe Bluhm:
I love the pictures in this book. They are magical. They are like those boards on pinterest where people with house-lust put up pictures of libraries and the twelve-year-old girl inside you just swoons. There is a library in this book, a particularly beautiful one. It is a room where I would love to spend a vacation. I like to read this book on repeat, which is how we do things right now, because then I can spend a few moments staring at that library of flying books.
The story is about a man whose life is disrupted by a storm. Hurricane Katrina, if you read the book jacket. Even before I read that part, the story and the pictures have a New Orleans feel to them, a little olde-tyme-y and gentle. It also has a Wizard of Oz element to it. It isn’t a long book, but the story has a few unexpected twists to it that keep it interesting. I think that is important sometimes, given how much repetition is treasured in children’s books. My son, age 2, also loves it, even though it has no trains in it whatsoever. (Secretly, I believe he thinks the library is a train station.)