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 from one of my favorite author/illustrators.  And it’s loosely related to Earth Day (which was 2 days ago) because it’s about being kind to animals 🙂  I hope you like it 🙂

Mossy
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.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can’t wait to see what you all picked!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And maybe I’ll see some of you at the SCBWI conference 🙂

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39 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Mossy

  1. Heather Dent says:

    Love this book! Jan Brett was my very favorite children's book author/illustrator when I was a girl. She's such an inspiration to me.

  2. Patricia Tilton says:

    Have missed this Jan Brett gem! Love her artwork. Great conversation to have about taking animals out of their natural habitat. Good to discuss with kids who want to rescue a lost bunny or bird. So many times Mama is nearby.

  3. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Your synopsis has me crying! I spent some extra time laying on the floor just being with a friend's dog. She is hurting and I can tell she just wants to give some more love. Ach, now I'm balling! Good thing I'm headed into thinner air today!

  4. Angela Brown says:

    This was a great choice for PPBF.

    You know, I can recall the short time my daughter and I had our pet cockatiel. We thought we were just doing all the wrong things and that was why he was always squawking at us, being aloof. After trying a few months, I reached back out to the bird's previous owner to get a better understanding of his previous environment. Turns out his previous home had two girl birds and apparently we'd really upset our cockatiel by taking him from his girlfriends. Yeah… so he went back to be with his women 🙂

  5. Michelle Kogan says:

    What a delightful story, thanks for sharing it with us Susanna! Definitely have to take a peak at this one, a turtle growing a garden on their shell…

  6. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Lovely book, Susanna. Earth Day used to be such a big deal…I'll have to ask my grandson if his school did any activities for it. it's so important for us to encourage young kids to care about the Earth and the animals and their habitats.
    Have a lovely weekend – I'm still waiting for the warm weather to stick around. 😉

  7. JillSF1959 says:

    Jan Brett is one of my family's favorites. But we missed this one! How could that be? Poor little sad turtle….sniffle….Off to the library we go, hi-ho hi-ho -hi-ho! Cheers!

  8. Keila Dawson says:

    What a wonderful book to bring attention to natural habitats. Great pick for this time of year when we celebrate Earth. Wanna read it!

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know – Earth Day is SO important. It's easy for me to remember because I live in the wilderness and Earth Day is my dad's birthday 🙂 I too am waiting for warm weather to stick around… and enjoying every second of it that visits! 🙂

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know! That is true of so many animals! Around this time of year it's fawns that will soon be discovered left alone… but that is how their mothers ensure their safety! Hope you like this one when you get a chance to read it, Pat!

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