Title: Mossy the Manatee
Author: Nika Tomljenovic
Illustrator: Melissa Salvarani
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Digital
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Description:  Mossy, a Florida manatee who is unusually more green than gray, only has one wish – to feel the snow in Cape Cod.  But because manatees can’t stand such cold weather, Mossy must do the impossible and find a way to make the journey.  With the help of his mom and dear friend, Mossy learns that when he embraces what makes him unique, even his wildest dreams can come true!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Aw, this is such a lovely picture book with such a brilliant message and illustrations.  Mossy the manatee lives in the sea in Florida but has one dream, to one day see the snow of Cape Cod.  But when he tells everyone at school about his dream, they all laugh at him, at his mossy green coloured back and his silly dream to see the snow.  Poor Mossy ends up so upset and begins to think that he’ll never be able to see Cape Cod, that his dream IS silly, but his friends want to help Mossy fulfil his dream, and maybe Mossy can see the snow after all?

Mossy the Manatee book page image one
A double page of the digital copy of the picutre book – so cute!

This is such a sweet picture book with such a wonderful story and illustrations that just make you want to look at this book all day!  Mossy is a manatee and feels ashamed of his green mossy back, especially as it makes him look different to all the other sea creatures at his school making him a target for being bullied.  The story shows Mossy worried about the way he looks before school, wanting to be the same like the other students, but also holding on to his dream of seeing Cape Cod.  I love how Mossy is such a relatable character, despite being a manatee.  So many children can relate to having a big dream or wish which others may think is silly or for looking or feeling different which leads to others making them feel bad.

After something bad happens at school and Mossy loses confidence in his dream, his friend Thomas the turtle and Nancy the narwhal come up with some ideas of how Mossy can get to Cape Cod.  I love the different ideas that they try and how enthusiastic Thomas is about helping his friend.  I love the way everyone looks in this story, the illustrations really do make this story all the more wonderful to read and I love looking back at this book again and again for the pictures alone!

There are illustrations throughout the book on each page, sometimes across a double page and sometimes on one.  The way all the sea creatures look is so lovely.  There’s a sweet look to them all, quite realistic but at the same time looking so cute and fun!  Mossy is especially lovely to look at, he’s so sweet and I love the way all of the characters expressions are easily seen, especially the way his mother looks as she tries to cheer up her son.  There’s something so mesmerising about the illustrations and they really do make this story all the more engaging and fun to look at, and I do love that last page when we finally see what happens with Mossy and his mum!

The book has rhyming throughout, with each page rhyming well.  Some of the rhymed sentences are longer than others but it’s still a good rhyming book making this a more engaging read.  The story ends really well, I like what happens and how Mossy learns a valuable lesson to hold onto his dreams and that it’s better to be an individual than the same as others.  These two messages are important ones for children to read and I love how this book has this lovely message woven throughout the story, with Mossy finally learning this after repeatedly feeling bad about being different.

Mossy the Manatee book page image two
A double page of the digital copy of the picutre book – aren’t Mossy and his mum cute? 🙂

Overall this is such a lovely picture book and one I really recommend!  I love manatees, they are my favourite sea creature, so maybe I’m a little biased in loving this book so much!  But it’s a lovely book with such lovely messages, and I think lots of children (and adults) will love to read about Mossy’s adventure and see the really beautiful illustrations on each page.

What do you think of this book and the illustrations?  do you like manatees?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂