They say this story is for ages 4 and up, but don't let that keep you from buying it for yourself. As an English major and lover of anything book related, I jumped at the chance to own a copy of this. It's a beautiful story about loving books and how they love you back, as well as the tale of a man's journey to write his own story. I'm thinking about buying a copy for a friend of mine (a fellow English major and soon to be teacher) who just graduated college, as well as a copy for my best friend's young son because the story can be enjoyed by both of them!
The video (and storybook app) appeared before the book, so the description "The book that inspired the Academy Award--winning short film" seems a bit inaccurate--unless it is referring to the storybook app, which is possible. Anyways after I saw the video (It is 15 minutes long and well worth the watching-- for free on Youtube, or if you want to support the creators and encourage them to create more lovely videos and books, you can purchase it on Itunes for only a few dollars*), I knew it would win Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards. The video is accompanied by music, but there isn't any dialogue.
The book differs from the film in that there is text for the reader to enjoy. Though it is possible to understand the story by just looking at the beautiful illustrations, the text gives that extra boost that the music from the film had been. The book is also faithful to the film's story, and there was only one part of the video that didn't seem to make it into the book (the scene where Morris Lessmore binds up an old book), but it doesn't take away from one's enjoyment of the story. It may be difficult to read without thinking of Hurricane Katrina or other areas devastated by natural disasters as Lessmore's world is turned upside down, or of the movie "The Wizard of Oz" as Lessmore goes from black and white to color. But overall I recommend this book for anyone. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
(The hardcover book does come with the pictured gold circle saying "the story that inspired the Academy Award winning short film," but this is a sticker that is meant to be removed, and I easily took it off my book without any residue left behind or damage done to the book.)
*Edited 6/2012 to add that the video is available for purchase on Itunes