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.

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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

Instructions:

  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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Joining up with the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month’s author is Tomie dePaola. We read the book The Song of Francis.

The Song of Francis, book cover

The Song of Francis is a story of Saint Francis of Assisi; it beautifully captures his character through simple text and vibrant illustrations.

Lily found a kindred spirit in Saint Francis; she loved that he loved the birds and nature.

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I was interested to learn that dePaolo considered being a Benedictine Monk for a time.  After living in a monastery for a few months he rejoined secular life but he continues to draw on religious inspiration.[1] He has created murals, such as that in the Dominican Retreat Chapel in Niskayuna, NY.

Religious influence can also be seen in his artistic work as an author and illustrator; dePaola has written many stories based on religious stories and characters besides The Song of Francis, including The Miracles of Jesus, The Parables of Jesus, Mary: The Mother of Jesus, Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi, Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland, and The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica.

We explored the life of Saint Francis by looking at his song, the Canticle of the Sun (here is a modern interpretation that we listened to performed by Jacob JohnsSon) and images of him in manuscripts, icons, and folk art (favorite works of Saint Francis include those by Sadao Watanabe, Jose Fransico Borges, Elayne LaPorta, M.C. Escher, and Gertrud Mueller Nelson). I also read to Lily excerpts from, The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi and  God’s Troubadour, The Story of St. Francis Assisi by Sophie Jewett, a children’s story about the life of Saint Francis.

Because she is fascinated with The Secret of Kells, I decided to expand our reading by having Lily make a manuscript-style artwork of Saint Francis. Lily made her artwork by first drawing out the images and text in pencil. She then went over the lines with permanent marker and filled in the color with watercolor paints. She drew a picture of Saint Francis with a bird and her text (she had me spell everything out for her) reads, “Saint Francis preached to the birds. He loved nature.” 

 

Lily's manuscript-style drawing of Saint Francis

 
 
 

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

 

 


[1]“Tomie dePaola.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 23 Nov. 2012.