Reviews for Mossy

Booklist Reviews 2012 August #1
The beauty of the natural world and all its magnificent variations shine through in this gentle ecological tale set in the Edwardian era. Mossy, an eastern box turtle, spends so much time in the damp confines of Lilypad Pond that moss begins to grow on top of her shell. Before long, ferns, too, begin to sprout, then flowers, until the reptile is a walking garden. Male turtle Scoot spots Mossy near the pond, but before the pair can meet, she is scooped up by a museum curator. The unusual turtle is put on exhibit at a local museum until the visiting children wisely point out that she would be happier in her natural home. Brett's lush, elaborately detailed nature scenes dazzle the eye, and feature insets and borders offering a veritable catalog of the natural world, from various types of butterflies, feathers, and beetles to rocks and geodes, fossils, and more. Lovely to look at and there's something to learn here, too. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Brett's distinctive use of detail in such popular works as The Mitten (1989) and The Hat (1997) has earned her boatloads of fans, so expect a big turnout. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Upon discovering Mossy, a turtle with a garden growing on her back, Dr. Carolina brings her to her museum. But Dr. Carolina's niece senses that Mossy misses pond life. The problem is solved too easily, but the illustrations offer a thrill akin to time travel: Brett's signature elaborate paintings capture Edwardian attire and natural elements in a crisp, woodsy palette.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
A turtle with a garden on her shell? Mossy is an eastern box turtle who loves the pond so much that she spends all of her time there, and moss, plants and flowers begin to take root on her carapace. Dr. Carolina and her niece Tory are thrilled to find Mossy in the reeds, and they take her up to their museum, where she quickly becomes a great success. Covered with ferns, berries, mushrooms and flowers and depicted in Brett's inimitable style, Mossy is a glorious sight to behold. What Dr. Carolina doesn't realize, though, is that Mossy was very happy in the pond where she was and that Mossy had just fallen in love! Intricate borders replete with color and detail show the garden, Dr. Carolina's museum and people in Edwardian dress, as Mossy's fame grows to great heights. It's young Tory who realizes that Mossy looks unhappy, and she gives her aunt an idea that saves the day and helps set Mossy free. Animal lovers and Brett fans will find much to savor in this winning blend of vivid colors, unusual heroine, strong female characters, period costume and accessible ideas about nature, living things and art. A quirky and very satisfying tale of nature and home. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 July #5

Brett (Home for Christmas) again lavishes attention on the delights and eccentricities of the natural world in this quiet, idiosyncratic addition to her canon of meticulously rendered picture books. Set in the Edwardian era, the story centers on Mossy, a turtle who lives in a pond-side habitat and has moss, ferns, and wildflowers growing from her carapace. Just after Mossy meets and becomes enamored of a turtle named Scoot, a museum curator, Dr. Carolina, brings Mossy indoors to live in a "viewing pavilion with plants, a reflecting pool and everything they thought a turtle would need." Though the turtle is carefully tended to and admired by museum visitors, Mossy misses her outdoor home and Scoot. In a contrived solution, two artists (improbably named Flora and Fauna) paint a portrait of Mossy to immortalize her in the museum before Dr. Carolina and her niece return her to the wild. Filled with beetles, shells, feathers, and other natural phenomena, Brett's signature intricate borders frame gorgeous gouache and watercolor spreads that include handsome period details and some visual surprises. An odd but lovely story. Ages 3-5. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 August

PreS-Gr 3--Mossy, an eastern box turtle, lives in the deep shade of Lilypad Pond, and the moss growing on her carapace offers fertile ground for a variety of plants. The garden on her back draws the attention of a local naturalist who takes the oddity to her museum as a living display. Mossy, unhappy and missing her home (as well as her special turtle friend), is returned to the wild after her portrait is painted for a happy ending all around. The sweet, simply written story reiterates an important message of respect for the environment. But this is a book by Jan Brett, so the watercolor and gouache illustrations trump the narrative in the storytelling. Here, the artist's familiar borders hold a field guide's worth of expert paintings: butterflies, mosses, fungi, wildflowers, orchids, feathers, crystals, shells, insects, fossils, and seeds. They frame each spread, and detailed illustrations follow the text and include predictive medallions that introduce characters or secondary plot details. Labeling the small drawings would have increased the curricular use of the title, but this omission does not detract from the book's overall value. Mossy is a beauty.--Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC

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