Perfect Picture Book Friday – Mossy

Thank goodness for Perfect Picture Book Friday!  It gives me an excuse to sit in the library or bookstore and read picture books 🙂

Today’s choice is brand new from one of my favorite author/illustrators.  I hope you like it 🙂

Written & Illustrated By: Jan Brett
Putnam Juvenile, September 2012

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: consideration, kindness, animals in their natural habitat, perspective

Opening: “On a misty, moisty morning, a young turtle stood at the edge of Lilypad Pond.  Her name was Mossy.”

Brief Synopsis: Mossy loves her pond.  She spends so much time in the damp coolness that first moss and then a garden grow on her carapace.  One day, she meets a handsome turtle named Scoot who thinks she’s very beautiful, but just as they are on the verge of becoming friends, Dr. Carolina and Tory spot Mossy.  “She is perfect for the museum!” declares Dr. Carolina.  And so Mossy is carried away from her beloved pond and her new friend.  Dr Carolina gives her everything she thinks a turtle needs, but fails to understand that Mossy already had everything she needed.  It is Tory who sees that Mossy is sad.  So they come up with a way to keep Mossy at the museum but also give her what her heart desires.

Links To Resources:  The back jacket flap of the book tells about the real incident that inspired this story for Jan Brett.  The book provides a wonderful opportunity for discussion about animals in the wild vs. animals in captivity.  Why might it be good to take an animal out of its natural habitat?  Why might it be bad?  Have you ever captured anything (perhaps a caterpillar, a frog or toad, or a garter snake?) and kept it for a while?  How long did you keep it?  What happened to it?  Did you put it back where you found it?  A New York Times Q&A with Jan Brett about Mossy.  Jan Brett Coloring Pages (Mossy isn’t here yet, but she may show up!)  Jan Brett Activity Pages (also no Mossy yet, but lots of other fun things to choose from!)

Why I Like This Book: Well, to start with, it’s a Jan Brett 🙂  That means a good story and gorgeous art!  Add to that the fact that it’s about a turtle who is a walking garden and what’s not to like? 🙂  But the part I like best is how Tory realizes that Mossy isn’t happy in captivity and makes sure that she is returned to her beloved pond.  It’s a beautiful tale about doing what’s right for someone else, and realizing when you’ve made a mistake (even with good intentions.)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

I only have one other thing to tell you today, and that is that I have managed (hopefully) to at least completely update the alphabetical list of Perfect Picture Books.  Not the theme lists.  Not the blogger lists.  And the alphabetical list does not have all the ages and categories yet.  But all the titles and all the links are there so you can at least see every book that’s been done so far!  Baby steps 🙂  There are an amazing number!

Ooh!  Let’s have a game!  You have to be on the honor system though and not just go to the Perfect Picture Book page and count!  Promise?  The game is, guess how many books are on the list as of last Friday (Sept. 21)?  (Not counting double!) (And remembering that we started Perfect Picture Books last November, but took nearly a three month break in the summer!)

Put your number guess in the comments!  Whoever gets the closest wins a pack of my brand new, unrivaled, awe-inspiring Story Sparker Cards, fun for writers, teachers, and families on long car rides :)!  (Unless the winner happens to be a Summer Short & Sweet 8 Week Finisher – they already got the Story Sparker Cards, so if it’s one of them, they’ll have to settle for the candy bar (or two) of their choice :))

Alrighty, then!  PPBF bloggers be sure to put your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can’t wait to see this week’s choices.  And before you leave here, put your guess as to how many picture books are on the list so far (up through last week – 9/21/12) in the comments!

Have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂

46 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Mossy

  1. Tina Cho says:

    I love Jan Brett books, too! I'll have to keep my eye open for this. Thanks for alerting me to it. I have no idea for a guess…hmm, I'd say 349.

  2. Angela Brown says:

    This story made me think back to the days of my childhood when we would run around catching lightening bugs. We didn't do it often since it resulted in the beautiful things dying, even if they had plenty of holes at the top of the capture jar. But I guess that was the point. They were captured instead of free…so we decided it was best to leave them where they belonged.

    Great choice for PPBF 🙂

  3. Iza Trapani says:

    Ooh, I can't wait to check this book out. What a fun idea and the art of course is always lovely. Do you know it takes her an hour to paint an inch?

  4. Jarmila V. Del Boccio says:

    I'll say 727. And I'm with you, Susanna…I love Jan Brett's books, for the same reason.
    I just recieved your parcel yesterday. I'm looking forward to using the Story Sparker Cards and notebooks, etc, for October's 12×12 manuscript. What fun…thanks you so much!

  5. Carrie Finison says:

    Great review, Susanna! I love Jan Brett. My kids have an Easter book by her that is just gorgeous.

    I'm going to guess 617 books. Are we following Price is Right rules? 😉

  6. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Wonderful review of a book that MUST be added to my collection…thanks for the great activity suggestions as well, Susanna. It looks like a couple of PPBFers have reviewed books with the bullying theme…October is National Bully Prevention Month…I'm so happy to see people are stepping up and shouting out about this!
    Regarding the number of books on the list…hmmm…I went there yesterday to make sure Swimmy hadn't been done yet…but, needless to say, I was NOT paying attention to how many were there. 🙂 I would guess…724. 🙂

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    Love that “misty, moisty morning” followed by the name Mossy! It sounds like a lovely story, and a valuable one. In fact, it sounds Perfect!

    I'm going to guess that there are 237 picture books listed.

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I LOVE Swimmy 🙂 “I'll be the eye!” And yes, I'm glad to see people bringing attention to National Bully Prevention Month as well – such an important topic. I'm glad to see some books that come at the issue from different angles and address different types of bullying. Oh, and BTW… good guess 🙂

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, Angela, it's so true. We caught fireflies (briefly) and woolly bear caterpillars, and sometimes frogs… but I always felt sorry for them. They didn't look right in glass jars or tupperware! So ours never stayed with us for long 🙂

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It IS an amazing list, thanks to everyone who works so hard and contributes such wonderful books with such thoughtful activities! I keep hoping to get the word out better, so more people can use it. Also, I keep hoping to come up with a way to make the lists easier to work with! Thanks for you guess… stay tuned… 🙂

  11. Robyn Campbell says:

    Hmmmm. Guessing, eh? 720??? *dagnabbit* I was never good at guessing how many jelly beans either.

    Jan Brett. Yippee!!! Her writing is bodaciously awesome. Her books always turn out beautiful. You know? Great pick woman! 🙂

  12. Caryn Caldwell says:

    Ooh. Mossy looks just lovely. I'm always looking for new picture books to share with my daughter. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll have to check out your other Perfect Picture Book posts, too.

  13. Pamela says:

    I'm going to take your lead and dedicate at least one day a week to sitting in bookstores and libraries to read books. I'm usually online for that. I'm getting out of the house. This book is such a great pick! Who doesn't love the amazing illustrations? The open ended questions you've supplied with this reading is going to make for a wonderful engagement for me and my early learners. Thanks Susanna! Okay, I'm going for the candy bar. I'm partial to mounds but they aren't big enough. So may I have a snickers if I guess correctly? My number is…840!

  14. Patricia Tilton says:

    Love Jan Brett's books. Top of my list to purchase. Love the story. Can't wait to see the illustrations. My guess is around 750.

  15. Jennifer Rumberger says:

    What a great book! I love the message and turtles are a favorite of mine. I will guess that 672 books are on the list. And by the way, I received my package for SS&S yesterday and love it! Can't wait to use the Story Sparker cards. Thank you so much! 🙂

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