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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  764 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
Who will help Mossy return home to Lilypad Pond?

Mossy, an amazing turtle with a gorgeous garden growing on her shell, loses her freedom when Dr. Carolina, a biologist, takes her to live in her Edwardian museum. Visitors flock to see Mossy, but it is Dr. Carolina's niece, Tory, who notices how sad Mossy is living in a viewing pavilion. She misses the outdoors and her frien
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,126)
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Oct 03, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy Jan Brett's illustrations, but often her stories are a bit lackluster for me. Not so with "Mossy", which I found both visually stunning and emotionally engaging. It is the story of a turtle named Mossy who spends so much time by the mossy pond that moss begins to grow on her shell and soon she has a miniature garden blooming there. Just when she meets a new boy turtle and is eager to be his friend, the curator from the local natural history museum and her niece find Mossy and thin ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We love turtles and love to find books about turtles, so we were very excited to read this story. And we were also excited to see that the book is written and illustrated by Jan Brett. We have read many of her books and were thrilled to see a new one. It's a departure from her typical Scandinavian-themed stories and illustrations, and we loved it.

This is a lovely tale about an interesting turtle who ends up growing a garden on her back. A biologist brings her to a museum to live, but Mossy misse
Lisa Vegan
Dec 02, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for humane education; for kids who like nature, turtles, beautiful pictures
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
illustrations = 5 stars + story = 3 stars so the total = 4 or 4 stars but + to 1 star for the message of leaving wildlife in the wild and for showing a child able to empathize with a turtle’s feelings, so a full 5 stars

I loved Mossy the turtle with the garden growing on her back. I enjoyed every bit of every gorgeous, lush illustration; they’re splendid. I didn’t need the (verging on) anthropomorphism in order to be emotionally engaged with Mossy; it wasn’t necessary, I don’t think. Most of h
Sep 26, 2012 Eyehavenofilter rated it it was amazing
I didn't know where to look first? There was so much going on in each picture it was almost like a " where's Waldo " book. But wow! This is BEAUTIOUS! These illustrations are amazing!
Mossy is a turtle that has luscious greenery growing on her shell and because of this she is scooped up and taken away from her freedom outside to an inside terrarium where people can come an look at her every day and admire her.
But what about Mossy, how does she feels about all this " exposure" ?
She just met her
Apr 18, 2016 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-ambi
Mossy is a wonderful little turtle that lives on the edge of Lilypad Pond. Moss starts growing on Mossy's shell which eventually turns into a beautiful variety of plants and flowers, which she admires in the reflection of the pond. One day Mossy sees two ruby eyes pop up out of the Pond who belonged to another turtle, Scoot. Just then, Dr. Carolina and her niece Tory discover Mossy and carry her off to their museum for display. Mossy becomes very sad from missing her home and Scoot. She longs to ...more
Judy Lindow
Jul 09, 2015 Judy Lindow rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

The main message is that Mossy the turtle is happiest in her natural habitat. By way of the story we grow to understand that live animals do not belong in museums and like any living creature she is happiest having a mate/friend, a family, and her choice of home.

There is very little picture-book fiction, (that I know of) that talks about observing animals in their wild habitat vs. captivity. In YA there is The One and Only Ivan, the Magician's Elephant (chapter books), and a few more.

I could loo
This Brett title for me was amazing, her illustrations in each of the borders, a stylistic element she is know for, are superior. The reason being if Brett is illustrating butterflies or moths, or shells the entire border is filled with that particular creature. Also she does not mix various species of butterflies and moths together as some illustrators do. On the jacket blurb it is stated that Brett and her husband have seen a snapping turtle with growth on its shell/carapace--a new term for me ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Mossy loved to spend time next to Lilypad Pond. She spent so much time there that moss soon started to cover her shell. Then other plants started to grow as wellwild. Mossy was an amazing site to see. So beautiful that she is taken to live in a museum. Mossy did not like her new surroundings and miss Lilypad Pond and her friend that live there as well. This is a lovely story of Mossy and her return to her favorite place. This is yet another beautiful book written by Brett. The illustrations add ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Jemkagily rated it it was amazing
Just a few tiny quibbles: one of the box turtles in the book is shown submerged in water and that's not really normal box turtle behavior: they are terrestrial tortoises, not aquatic turtles. And they don't really frolic with their hatchlings in family groups. But the book is a thing of beauty, and it was VERY kind of our children's librarian to let me sit down and read her copy before it was even processed, wrapped, and on the shelf. Brett's illustrations of the natural world in all its exquisi ...more
Lexus Beedy
Personal Reaction:
I liked this book mainly because of the message and the detailed illustrations. The illustrations are very unique when compared to other books I have read, as majority of the pages are devoted to illustrations. Books such as this one demonstrate the value of artwork in literature.

This book was Purpose:
This book would be appropriate for a read aloud of 1st-2rd graders.
While Dr. Carolina believed she was doing a good deed by provided a safe home for Mossy and sharing her beauty
Oct 13, 2012 Peacegal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humane-education
Beautiful artwork tells the story of a very unusual box turtle who has a garden of flowers growing on her shell. A museum collector finds her and builds the most spectacular terrarium to house her, but "Mossy" is miserable. The museum director decides to commission a painting of Mossy and set her free instead.

Humane themes: the proper place for wild animals, doing the right thing even when it's difficult, the wonder and beauty of nature, the uniqueness of all life forms.
I loved hearing and seeing this book. Before the book was even read the cover page first captured my interest. The illistration was absolutely amazing. Second, When I started hearing the book I could see that the liturature was going to be great to read to children. Their were many big words I'm sure children wouldn't know so you can take that time to ask if they do and then explain what it means. Third, I loved that I was able to predict what was going to happen next because of the drawing that ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it
Mossy is an amazing book by Jan Brett. Mossy is an eastern box turtle that has a beautiful garden growing on her back. Dr. Carolina and her niece Tory move her to a museum so others can enjoy her beautiful masterpiece. But is Mossy really happy in the museum? Illustrated with stunning artwork the book is filled with masterpieces of the flora and fauna of nature.
Jul 31, 2014 Tricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Sometimes I have a hard time reading Jan Brett books - I spent so much time poring over the framing illustrations that I lose track of the story. So my new strategy is to read the story itself, then go through another time to look at all the detail in the borders and edges.

This is another example of Jan Brett's wonderful artistic style. The story/plot is a little lackluster and even has a few points that fall apart under close scrutiny. But the illustrations! Oh so wonderful. Each spread has ano
Kacie Blakley
Nov 22, 2014 Kacie Blakley rated it it was amazing
Mossy is an incredible turtle that has a huge garden growing on the top of her shell. Just as she meets a new friend named Scoot, she is picked up by Dr. Carolina and is taken to her museum. Many people come to visit Mossy in the museum, but they all soon discover that she is better off in Lilypad Pond. How does her legend carry on in the museum?
After reading this book, I read Jan Brett's inspiration for this story that is located at the back of the book. She explains that she and her husband di
Jen Van Allen
Apr 24, 2016 Jen Van Allen rated it really liked it
This Jan Brett book is among the most popular of Brett books. Mossy, a beautiful turtle, is taken from her home to live in a museum. The people who visit the museum love seeing Mossy, but Mossy is sad and misses her home. The owner of the museum, Dr. Carolina returns her to home but works hard to try and find a way to keep Mossy’s happy spirit alive. The wonderful appreciation that this book gives readers for nature is what makes Mossy a great addition to any classroom. This could help with a le ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Brett does it again with richly illustrated book that not only will your child love, you will too. The story is a love story, an environmental story, and a really good story at that. I read it twice just for me.
Carol Royce Owen
Sep 18, 2015 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Not only does Mossy have the beautiful illustrations that we've come to know and love from Jan Brett, but it also has a sweet, wonderful story. Mossy is a turtle who lives by a pond, and who has beautiful fauna growing on her carapace (a word, I must admit, I had never heard before). She is happy at her pond, and one day spies another turtle staring back at her. But, before she can become acquainted, Mossy is picked up by Dr. Carolina, a curator at a museum, who is thrilled to have Mossy come to ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Christine rated it liked it
As with most of Brett's books. Story and writing are just OK. The artwork is something special. I am always a little disappointed with the writing.
Nicholas Linsk
Apr 28, 2014 Nicholas Linsk rated it it was amazing
In Brett’s book Mossy, readers will pore over the colorful paintings of Lilypad Pond, the lush boarders displaying flowers, ferns, butterflies and birds. The main characters are Mossy and Scoot of this unique story of love, loyalty and home. The botanical illustrations make each page come alive so that the readers feel like they are in each location. The text in this book gives you an idea of what is going to happen when the reader turns the page. The use of vivid color and imagery adds to the p ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elaine Heumann
Jul 07, 2014 Elaine Heumann rated it really liked it
Jan Brett write a book about the practice in the Victorian days of creating small specimen museums. Dr. Carolina who runs the museum finds an odd but fanciful turtle and keeps it in the museum. A year later in a moment of conscience she releases the turtle back to the environment. Lovely pictures, a lovely end of story. and another age when museums were interconnected with personal collecting. Worth reading and then discussing the moral lessons involved. Liked the way the book was set up.
Nov 11, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
First, with the name Jan Brett you know that you will not be disappointed with the illustrations. What she is able to put on the page is just phenomenal.

Second, the storyline is always tender with a lovely moral to be shared. One cannot go wrong with any of her books.

Mossy, a young Eastern Box turtle loves the damp coolness of Lilypad pond and spends so much time there that little pieces of moss begin to grow on her back. As the season changes, the moss and other seeds begin to grow and Mossy i
Feb 04, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, science
Mossy by Jan Brett tells the story of an eastern box turtle with a garden growing on her back. Plucked from her pond home, Mossy is displayed inside a museum until a niece of the botanist recognizes that the turtle longs for her outside home.

Brett's lavish, beautiful illustrations were done in watercolors and gouache. Joseph Herane did the airbrush backgrounds. Brett's trademark borders include a variety of plants and animals, including frogs, salamanders, mushrooms, flowers, butterflies, insect
Oct 18, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Mossy loved living at Lilypad Pond. She spent so much time along the banks that moss and then small plants started to grow on her shell. She became a walking garden and liked to look at her reflection in the water to see how her garden was growing. On day, she met a male turtle named Scoot at the pond. The two were smitten immediately. But just as they were about to meet, Dr. Carolina, who owned a museum, picked up Mossy and took her away to be the center of a new display. Mossy spent several se ...more
Mossy is a turtle with a beautiful garden growing on her shell. One day she is captured by Dr. Carolina and her niece, Tory, and brought to live in a nature museum. Mossy stays in the museum for a year and is admired by everyone in the town. Tory notices that Mossy looks sad and wonders if the museum is the best place for a living turtle. Will Dr. Carolina keep Mossy in the museum, or will she find a way to return Mossy back to nature while still allowing all of the people in the town to admire ...more
Mandy Couch
I thought this book showed a great deal of social emotional and the illustrations were amazing. THis is a very good book to read to young children. The turtle goes through so many emotions and has to learn to deal with them and make the most of them. Even when she is removed from her normal environment she adapted and adjusted to it. This is key in helping children. Each teacher and child has to adjust and find out what works and work through the difficult times.

I would read the story a
Oct 28, 2012 Jillian rated it it was amazing
"Mossy" by Jan Brett is a phenomenal book introducing the topics of nature, as well as humanity to animals in a gorgeous storybook format. Jan Brett's illustrations are simply breathtaking. "Mossy" tells the story about a beautiful female turtle, who lives in such a moist environment that rich moss and colorful flowers begin to grow on her shell. Mossy, the beautiful turtle, catches the eye of another turtle named Scoot. A romance begins to bud between Mossy and Scoot, until one day, Mossy is ta ...more
Kelly Roberts
Dec 03, 2012 Kelly Roberts rated it it was amazing
Jan Brett centers this picture book around an eastern box turtle names Mossy, who lives in a pond and has a beautiful garden growing on her moss-covered shell. The story starts out with Mossy becoming charmed by a friend in the pong named Scoot. Just as this is happening, Mossy is picked up and taken away by Dr. Carolina, a biologist. Dr. Carolina brings Mossy to a museum to live inside a man-made glass habitat that contains plants and a pool that reflects the habitat where Mossy was taken from. ...more
I love Jan Brett's books, so when I saw Mossy in the bookstore I knew I had to check it out. This is an interesting text that combines some non-fiction elements with an interesting fictional story. A young turtle named Mossy enjoys spending time in the damp, cool edge of Lilypad Pond so much, that one day a patch of moss began to sprout on the top of her shell. Soon, this moss turned to a beautiful patch of sprouting wildflowers. Dr. Carolina finds Mossy and is so fascinated that she decides to ...more
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With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I reme
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