The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

Good picture books ought not to have an upper age limit, since they usually have something to offer to everyone — and these two extraordinary picture books prove my point. I’ve always been fascinated by the genesis of stories, and if you read enough author interviews, you’ll probably reach the conclusion that stories can grow from the darnedest things, and there’s no telling where each spark may lead.

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

Sometimes, especially in this era of information glut, it’s easy to forget that there are real people behind the books or even pieces of writing that we read without a second thought — or worse, that we don’t read at all. The truth is, writing from the heart can be a terrifying thing since you are putting a part of yourself out there, to be judged by everyone and anyone, and sadly, as a result, not many people do — write thoughtfully, that is.

Books are inanimate objects, but they come alive when we read them because they’re someone else’s thoughts, ideas and imagination painstakingly put into words. When you think about it, isn’t it quite incredible that a small part of who a person is can live on long after they’re gone, via their words and stories?

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is thus a timely paean to books that will be etched in your memory for a long time, particularly if you are a bibliophile.

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