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Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #30!

It’s now officially the end of September (seriously, how did this happen?), and we’ve only picture book left for the month!

But, first things first: A huge thank you to all the lovely people who’ve been exploring the wonderful world of picture books with me. ♥ (Really. You all are lovely.)

And stay tuned, because more shenanigans may or may not be in the works here! Ahem.

And now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way?

It’s time to meet a certain Mr. Morris Lessmore, and his fantastic flying books.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce.

In case you hadn’t noticed this fact already, you kind of can’t go wrong with William Joyce. You just can’t. And this is, in my opinion, the ultimate book for people that love books.

There are a lot of books out there for us booksluts, but this one is my all-time favourite of the lot.

It’s William Joyce.

The art is beyond beautiful. Look at this:

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THERE IS A WOMAN FLYING ALONG ON BOOK-BALLOONS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

And even beyond all that (because yes, this book is like an informercial, and WAIT! THERE’S MORE!), the entire book is a metaphor for books being like life. For books being life.

And even when the pages get blown about by the wind, your story itself never stops.

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Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #26!

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The Numberlys, by William Joyce and Christina Ellis.

We’re now in the very final stretch of my little epic month of picture books, and I have to say, I’ve saved some of the best for last.

And if there is any book that I think could stand as a companion to my beloved Animalia, it is The Numberlys. (Unsurprisingly enough, as I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think William Joyce is a genius.)

It begins with vertically-aligned pages in stark black and white:

“Once upon a time there was no alphabet. Only numbers. Everyone liked numbers. They had nice shapes and kept things orderly. And everything added up… So life was sort of… Numberly.”

But even amidst all of this order, something is missing. And I bet you can guess what it is. :)

With the alphabet comes colour. Comes art.

Words bring the world out from the grey.

I’ve seen some concern that the concept — words versus numbers — might be a bit much for a children’s book, might go over kids’ heads, but I would have to disagree. William Joyce knows kids, and he knows how to approach them.

And even they don’t get every single nuance of the concept itself, the book still has appeal. The character designs are as kid-friendly as they come, and the art is engaging.

Kids will like the story, and will internalise its message whether or not they fully understand it.

The act of reading to them alone will help them internalise its message.

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Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #25!

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The Man in the Moon, by William Joyce.

Disclaimer: I’m not terribly familiar with the entire Guardians of Childhood franchise; I’ve not read the young reader novels or seen the movie. (Though I would like to; the whole thing seems charming.)

So I can’t talk much about the franchise itself, but I can talk about the picture books.

And they are beautiful.

The first is a stunningly illustrated origin story of MiM, the Man in the Moon — the first of the Guardians of Childhood. (The series, in case you couldn’t guess, goes on to cover the stories of other Guardians, such as the Sandman and St. Nicholas.)

William Joyce is a genius, and this project of his is certainly more than apt. It’s not just children that he speaks to — like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, he speaks to childhood in general. To the child in all of us.

There’s magic in this, no matter how old you are.

And yes, I did in fact just compare William Joyce to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, here.

If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, I honestly don’t know what would.