I was beyond excited to have William Joyce come to Lemuria for his latest children’s book Ollie’s Odyssey. I might have even skipped out on class to go on his school visits.
William Joyce is an inspiration. I didn’t know much about his work before he came, and I was blown away by the end of his first school talk. He has touched the lives of kids everywhere, from those that love Toy Story to Rise of the Guardians, Dinosaur Bob to Ollie’s Odyssey. His books and animation bridge the gap between generations.
I wanted to tell you a little about two of my favorites, Dinosaur Bob and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. They are full of the importance of family, those we are related to and the friends we find along the way. They also stress the value of creativity, imagination, and the amazing impact stories can have on you if you give them the chance. His illustrations are lively and friendly. They bring his beautiful stories to life in a way that makes you feel like you stepped into the pages of his books.
Dinosaur Bob follows the Lazardo family and their pet dinosaur Bob, from finding him on a safari to bringing him home. Full of fun adventures, Dinosaur Bob is a heartwarming story about love. It shows that sometimes our family isn’t only who we grow up with, but it’s also those special people and pets that we meet along the way. For the Lazardo family life wouldn’t be the same without dinosaur Bob and they wouldn’t want it any other way.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful stories you will ever read. After hearing him talk about his own history and rereading this book, I nearly teared up. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is more than just a picture book, and it will touch the heart of anyone that reads it, regardless of age. This story exudes his love for books and storytelling. By illustrating characters without books in black and white and later giving them color after they’ve received a book, it beautifully shows how reading enriches lives. You can feel the love for books and the overpowering desire to share this love with everyone. It has a beautiful circular telling: you begin and end with a book opening the way to discovery.
William Joyce is one of the best storytellers, both in person and in his words on the page. His illustrations will bring even more life to his already lively stories. In every book and film, he reaches out with his words and reminds us that there are stories all around us.
“Everyone’s story matters” said Morris. And all the books agreed.
–The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore