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Last updated Thursday, April 10, 2014

Author: Jan Brett
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0399257829
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2014

Synopsis: Mossy, an eastern box turtle, lives in the deep shade of Lilypad Pond, with moss growing on her carapace. The garden on her back draws the attention of a local naturalist who takes the oddity to her museum as a living display. But Mossy is unhappy and missing her home (as well as her special turtle friend). This 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.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What type of animal is Mossy?
•  What different types of plants & animals do you see on the cover?

•  curlicues - a decoratively curved line or shape
•  carapace - the thick hard shield, made of chitin or bone, that covers part of the body of crabs, lobsters, tortoises, etc
•  rippled - to move in small waves
•  pavilion - a building in a park or garden that usually has open sides and is used for parties, concerts, or other events
•  meteorite - a piece of rock or metal that has fallen to the ground from outer space
•  geodes - stone often lined with crystals
•  diorama - a life-size exhibit (as of a wildlife specimen or scene) with realistic natural surroundings and a painted background
•  flora - all the plants that live in a particular area, time, period, or environment
•  fauna - all the animals that live in a particular area, time period, or environment
•  glade - a grassy open space in a forest

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever been to a museum with turtles or other animals?
•  Do you think it was better for Mossy to live in the museum or in the wild (at Lilypad Pond)?
•  How long can some turtles live?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a turtle using an egg carton or bowl for the shell, pipe cleaners or cut out paper for the legs & pom pon for the head. Then you can pile cut out or silk flowers, leaves, and "moss" on top of the shell.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!