mossy by jan brett

December 31, 2012

Joining up with the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month’s author is Jan Brett. We read the book Mossy.

Mossy by Jan Brett

Mossy is about an eastern box turtle. She spends her days in her favorite spot, by a little pond, so much so that she begins to grow moss (hence the name Mossy) on her shell and eventually a beautiful garden. Mossy catches the eye of not only a male box turtle but also a museum director who puts her on exhibit. Mossy is a favorite in the museum but she misses her pond and her fella. The story ends well for Mossy and the museum but I won’t spoil it–read the book!

In typical Jan Brett style, Mossy is filled with intricate detail that enriches the story, notably frames around each page that hint at what’s next in the story.

This book was perfect for us, the budding naturalist and museologist-in-training. Plus we are quite fond of the box turtle friends we have met.

eastern box turtle found in our backyard Lily and Jack (turtle ambassador from our fav nature center)

After our reading of the story, we headed over to Brett’s website to see what else we could find. We enjoyed the video of how to draw an eastern box turtle that includes the back story to Mossy.  There are printables, including a color-in of Lilypad Pond–Mossy’s home. There is also a contest that starts January 7th to win a library visit from Jan Brett, which we will try for.


We have an abundance of moss

detail of moss                  moss wall

so for the activity to accompany the book we made a terrarium. Here’s how we did it–

Materials used:

  • glass container
  • marbles for drainage
  • crushed charcoal
  • sand
  • soil
  • moss


  1. We cleaned the container to prevent bacteria from growing later down the road.
  2. Then we placed the marbles at the bottom of the container.
  3. We added a thin layer of the crushed charcoal and then layered it with the sand.
  4. Next we added the soil.
  5. We added the moss.
  6. Lastly Lily decorated the terrarium with little bits of stones and shells she has collected over the years (those she was willing to part with, that is).

our little terrarium

This is a blog hop but I can’t post the linky (no javascript allowed on free WordPress blogs). Here is a list of the other bloggers that are participating in the Virtual Book Club:

Toddler ApprovedRainy Day MumAdventures in Reading with Kids3 DinosaursRoyal BalooThe Educators’ Spin On ItInspiration LaboratoriesPleasantest Thing Edventures with Kids Two Big Two Little Playing With Words 365Kitchen Counter ChroniclesOutlaw MomMommy and Me Book ClubCrafty Moms ShareNo Twiddle TwaddleThe Good Long Road Ready. Set. Read 2 MeReading Confetti Mama SmilesJuggling with KidsMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasCreekside LearningCreative Family FunThe Usual MayhemTeach PreschoolPlayDrMomCraftoArtHere Come the GirlsBeing a Conscious ParentSmiling like SunshineCrayon FrecklesTrain Up a ChildSmile Play Learn


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