Mossy by Jan Brett
Jan Brett's Mossy is a special turtle because she has a gorgeous garden growing right on her shell. The moss that grows on her carapace is a perfect spot for wildflowers and ferns to take root. When Dr. Carolina sees the magnificent turtle strolling around Lilypad Pond, she takes Mossy back to her museum. Dr. Carolina believes that because Mossy doesn't need to worry about finding food, staying warm, or escaping from danger, she will be happy. But Dr. Carolina doesn't know that Mossy just met someone special—another turtle friend named Scoot—and that Mossy dreams of being back at home with her friend.
Dr. Carolina's bright niece, Tory, notices that Mossy seems sad and tells her aunt that she believes Mossy misses Lilypad Pond. Dr. Carolina comes up with a way that Mossy can be remembered at the museum and go home to live her life outdoors in peace.
Our family loves Jan Brett's amazing illustrations and gentle storytelling, and this book doesn't disappoint. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, with lavish details of Mossy's shell garden and the Edwardian dress of the time. We were convinced that this was nonfiction until we read more about how Jan Brett came up with the storyline (which you can read at her website here). We hope to see more books about Mossy in the future!