Suspend Your Disbelief

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Morris Lessmore

We’ve talked a lot about how technology can bring books to life in new and exciting ways, but I hadn’t seen an example of an ebook that got me really excited until someone pointed me to this one. The brainchild of William Joyce, The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is a wonderful amalgalm of movie, book, and game. A story about a book-loving man who stumbles into a world inhabited by books, it’s at once a dramatization of the power of words and a meta-commentary on literature.

Joyce was previously a designer for Pixar, and it shows in the detail and whimsy on every page. Books whisper their own first lines. A flick of the finger causes wind to blow books off a balcony, spins a house into a tornado’s funnel, or streaks blue across a sky. As they follow the story, readers play tunes on a piano keyboard and write messages in a bowl of alphabet cereal. The story itself is a bit light on plot, but it’s hard not to be charmed by sentences like these:

Morris tried to keep the books in some order, but they always mixed themselves up. The tragedies needed to be cheered up and would visit with the comedies. The Encyclopedias, weary of facts, would relax with the comic books and fictions.

And I’m clearly not the only one–Morris Lessmore became the first eBook to reach #1 status in the iTunes store. I can see this being a fun app for a book-loving kid, or possibly even a reluctant reader.

Are there other interactive books that you love? Share your favorites in the comments.

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