One More Book-Based Oscar

In our story about Oscars based on books, we overlooked one — the Best Animated Short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, based on the book by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.

The trouble is, there is no book yet. Ironically, the story, which celebrates the joys of the printed page, is currently only available as a storybook app (it was was the top-grossing book app last year and received admiring reviews from both SLJ and Kirkus) and as the animated short.

The print book won’t be released until July by S&S/Atheneum. Joyce who was a formerly a Pixar designer as well as a children’s book author, is the film’s co-director, so he doesn’t have to follow the traditional sequence of book, followed by film adaptation, and then a tie-in edition. As Joyce told Variety last week, his two-year-old company Moonbot Studios sees things differently,

Our properties … our stories — we don’t see them as just one thing in one medium. We sort of sit there and go: “Is this a great movie? Is this a great book?” And if the answers are “yes,” then we think of them in whatever different (form is applicable).

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
William Joyce
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers – (2012-07-24)
ISBN / EAN: 1442457023 / 9781442457027

Joyce and Oldenburg have just released a second app, The Numberlys, which they describe in an Oscar’s backstage interview as “a remake of Metropolis but for kids.” The Variety story says it will also become a printed book, but no news yet on publication date.

Joyce is the executive producer for the Dreamworks feature film, Rise of the Guardians, coming Nov. 21, which involves a complex book publishing program, including picture books and chapter books.

The second title in the chapter book series was published last week:

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core! (Guardians of Childhood Chapter Books)
William Joyce
Retail Price: $14.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers – (2012-02-21)
ISBN / EAN: 1442430508 / 9781442430501

The poster for the movie was just arrived online.

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