Shreveport’s Academy Award-Winning filmmaker, writer, and illustrator William Joyce’s popular short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is the inspiration for a permanent library exhibition in the newly opened Mississippi Children’s Museum in Meridian, MS.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a book written by Joyce and transformed into a short film directed by Joyce that won 2012’s Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It is a story about the transformative power of books, with an emphasis on connecting readers and books. In today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, Morris Lessmore is a testament that the power of the story will save the day, and the Meridian Mississippi Children’s Museum is telling that story again and again through it’s new permanent exhibit.
For anyone who has seen the Morris Lessmore short film and dreamed of curling up in that whimsical library with Shakespeare, Humpty Dumpty, and the music of Pop Goes the Weasel, the Mississippi Children’s Museum-Meridian is a short drive from Shreveport and a great family destination for a long weekend getaway. The library exhibition is a life-sized recreation of Mr. Lessmore’s library with cozy places to read under flying books, models that Moonbot Studios created for the actual short film animation production, a continuously-running video of the short film itself, and an interview of Joyce talking about the writing of the story and the production of the film.
“The Children’s Museum - Meridian is a beautiful and ambitious addition to the cultural landscape of Mississippi,” says Joyce. “ I’m proud that they chose to model the library section of the museum after Morris’ library. It's a stunning tribute to the book and film and I hope it’ll fire up the imaginations of kids for years and years and years.”
Mississippi Children’s Museum – Meridian is Jackson, Mississippi Children’s Museum’s first satellite museum. The Jackson location opened in December 2010 and has welcomed over 1.4 million visitors from Mississippi, the US, and foreign countries. The vision of expanding MCM’s first-class museum experience became a dream in 2015, when a group of volunteers from Meridian sought MCM’s expertise on bringing a children’s museum to East Mississippi. One of MCM’s strategic goals is to embrace more children from Mississippi and surrounding states with high quality, educational experiences. MCM-Meridian opened its doors March 27, to spark creativity, imagination, discovery and learning for all children who visit.
In addition to the library inspired by Joyce’s, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, MCM-Meridian touts the nation’s first permanent Goodnight Moon exhibit, a giant brainiac climber, a whimsical 25,000 square foot garden inspired by Mississippi writer and illustrator, Edgar Parker, and a WonderBox tinkering lab. Each gallery is designed based on MCM-Meridian’s educational initiatives: STEAM, literacy, health and nutrition, and Mississippi heritage.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 per person (children under 1 year are FREE). To learn more about MCM – Meridian, visit www.memmeridian.org.