Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mossy” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  572 ratings  ·  165 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mossy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mossy

Extra Yarn by Mac BarnettAnd Then It's Spring by Julie FoglianoGreen by Laura Vaccaro SeegerThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
2013 Mock Caldecott
24th out of 97 books — 232 voters
King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey WoodThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussAre You My Mother? by P.D. EastmanThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Best Classic Children's Picture Books
29th out of 30 books — 12 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 825)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 4 of 5 stars
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 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: for humane education; for kids who like nature, turtles, beautiful pictures
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
illustrations = 5 stars + story = 3 ½ stars so the total = 4 or 4 ½ stars but + ½ 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 o
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Judy Lindow

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
Elaine Heumann
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
Jacqueline Lewis
The illustrations are beautiful but a little crowded for my taste. I love that the little girl was very observant enough to realise that Mossy was sad and perhaps misses her home. From the flowers growing on her back you can see that Mossy lived by the pond all her life and was happy there by the fact that she kept looking at herself in the pond. I would use this book so that children can observe the the pages and tell the different things they recognized.
Erica Heath
I thought the political overtones were a little overt, and that's coming from someone who agrees with them. However, children might not notice and leaving nature alone is definitely a good thing to be teaching them. That said, the pictures are stunning, and the primary reason I would recommend. From the info on the back flap, it sounds like the pictures are most of the reason the book was created in the first place.
Sujeewa Ranasinghe
Mossy has a good story to children will like to listen, but it's too long story for very young children. This book has been used small letters,so I think young children can't read by themselves. Using this book children can learn about nature and more vocabulary about nature. It has some alliteration words like misty, moisty, and morning so, children can understand about same initial sounds in the different words.
Reenie Peppers
Themes: turtles, flora & fauna, museums, natural vs artificial habitat
Activities: identify the different flora, fauna and minerals in the borders of the pages, research turtles & turtle habitats, discuss clues in the book that identify the time period of the story; writing prompts - discribe the type of museum you would create; choose an animal or insect from the book and draw it's habitat
Linda Lipko
Creatively told, expertly illustrated, this is a story of Mossy the turtle. Living in a stream, mossy is quite content, finding love with another turtle who finds all the growth of moss and flowers on her shell, life is wonderful.

When Mossy is discovered by a young girl, life changes dramatically. Captured and placed in a museum, Mossy is well taken care of and exhibited for many to delight in.

Head down and sad, Mossy longs for her previous life. When she is returned to her natural settings, al
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bear Has a Story to Tell
  • Oh, No!
  • Too Tall Houses
  • Boot & Shoe
  • Red Knit Cap Girl
  • The Chicken Problem
  • Nightsong
  • The Three Ninja Pigs
  • A Rock Is Lively
  • Homer
  • More
  • Step Gently Out
  • hello! hello!
  • Squid and Octopus Friends for Always
  • Baby Bear Sees Blue
  • Miss Maple's Seeds
  • The Monsters' Monster
  • Black Dog
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
More about Jan Brett...
The Mitten The Hat Gingerbread Baby The Wild Christmas Reindeer Town Mouse, Country Mouse

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »