Review: Mossy by Jan Brett


Mossy by Jan Brett

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 seasons at the museum, missing Scoot but being well cared for.  She was a very popular exhibit.  So when Tory, Dr. Carolina’s young niece, noticed how sad Mossy seemed and how lonely, there was a big decision to be made.

Brett’s story speaks to the importance of leaving living creatures in their native habitat to live their own lives.  It is a subject handled delicately here with no abusive storyline at all, just a general sense of sadness, which is perfect for young children.  The book is set at the turn of the century with the clothing and use of horse-drawn carriages giving clues.

As always, Brett’s artwork is simply beautiful.  In each two-page spread, she gives the main image a frame and then has several additional pictures that either add to the story or the setting.  We get to see different plants up close, glimpses of the museum even when it is not in the storyline, and Scoot waiting at the pond. 

This is not a book to be read quickly or with a group, instead it’s one to linger over and see the details of the artwork.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Review: This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

this is not my hat

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

I never expected to see a sequel to I Want My Hat Back but I am so thrilled that Klassen saw things differently.  This second book has a similar theme to it with a stolen hat, but it has entirely different characters.  This time the story is set underwater with fish playing the major roles.  One little fish has stolen a hat from a big sleeping fish.  He knows it was wrong, but justifies it by the fact the hat looks so much better on him and fits better too.  As he flees to the thick reeds to hide, he thinks to himself about how clever he has been, that the fish would never notice it missing, that he wouldn’t know where to look for the thief, on and on.  And with each sentence, the readers will see that he’s wrong, very wrong.

This sequel has the same understated style of the first and the same wonderful sense of humor that is exquisitely funny.  Klassen maximizes the humor with his flawless ability to tell one story in the words and an entirely different one with the action of what really happens. 

For all the fans of the first book, this is one that works best if you have read the first, but also stands on its own completely.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.