November 23, 2015
Mossy by Jan Brett
by Jan Brett
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Mossy lived beside Lilypad Pond. Mossy liked it because it was cool and damp beside the pond. Soon sprigs of moss grew on her shell. Then ferns grew on her carapace and flowers. Each day Mossy went down to the edge of the pond and looked at her reflection to see how her garden had changed.
One day Mossy was visiting the pond when a handsome turtle peeked from beneath a lilypad. Scoot had never seen her before but the problem was the Scoot wasn’t the only one who had just spotted Mossy.
Dr. Carolina and her neice Tory were entranced by the turtle with the beautiful garden on her shell. Gently and carefully they picked her up and took her back to Dr. Carolina’s museum so that other people could see her. They created a beautiful viewing pavilion full of the things a turtle needed. But Mossy had what she needed back at the pond.
All summer long, visitors flocked to the museum. They watched Mossy eat juicy raspberries and lettuce leaves. But somehow the turtle just didn’t seem happy to Tory. Dr. Carolina explains to Tory that Mossy is safe in the museum where she will live to be a very old turtle.
Note: No spoiler alert because I’m not going to tell you the ending. You have to read it yourself to see what happened.
For me, the best part of this book was Brett’s paintings. The bright colors brought to life the flowers in Mossy’s garden. Of course, this could be in part that she included my favorites, violets. But I also loved the bright colors and the details that she brought to the turtles. You can see individual scales and even tell the turtles apart. As a former-kid who spent time searching for box turtles rooting through leaves in the woods, I loved this attention to detail.
Mossy doesn’t have the humor that Brett brings to many of her stories but it does have both the heart-felt ending and the colorful art that fans expect and new readers will love. Share this one with the young nature lover in your life. Use it to spark discussions on the best ways for people to interact with nature.