September 16, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon
Yesterday a friend’s Facebook post caught my eye. She’s a therapist and lives in Orlando with her husband and three kids. After enduring the wrath of Hurricane Irma, she posted that The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a great children’s book to read post-Harvey or post-Irma “or just because it’s a beautiful story.” She also linked to another post of hers where she claimed this book the best one she’s read on counseling all year. So I texted Cal to see if he could order it for me. His response, “We already have it at Church Street. It’s amazing.”
I’m sitting here in Church Street at that one table by the windows across from the serving counter and cash register and case of deliciousness. People are wandering in and ordering their coffee and scones. Sri usually anticipates what his customers want. They’re mostly regulars, and he knows them. Etta James is playing through the sound system. Milk is frothing for someone’s cappuccino. I just read The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and watched the short film with the same title and am trying to figure out what to do with what I witnessed.
I agree with my friend. It is a beautiful story. It’s full of joy and sorrow. It’s full of goodness. The narrative follows a man who is affected by tragedy but then comes out on the other side of suffering. He goes on to live a life amongst books and words. He provides care and he receives care. He grows old and eventually enters a new season. The book’s primary theme: Everyone’s story matters. That’s a theme I can get behind.
This is a book for those who love books and those who want to raise children who love books and those who have never really been big readers but feel a tug deep inside their soul and want to get lost in a story. So, this is a book for everyone.
I think I know what I’m going to do in response to reading The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. I’m going to keep reading and keep writing. Our stories matter.
Charlotte lives in Homewood with her husband and their two children. She’s earning an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University, and she does freelance writing and copywriting. You can find her online at www.charlottedonlon.com and on Twitter at @charlottedonlon. You can sign up for her newsletter about books and writing here.