Sunday, July 10, 2022

Today's read... Mossy the Manatee by Nika Tomljenovic

I have a soft spot of manatees, and when I got a chance to peek into a copy of today's read, I wasn't going to turn it down. While many books do stay in the facts and environmental circumstances, this one weaves a cute tale. 

I'm not going to say more, yet... 

by Nika Tomljenovic
Illustrated by Melissa Salvarani
Picture Book
20 pages
ages 5 to 8

Mossy the Manatee follows the journey of a Florida manatee who is unusually colored in comparison to those of his kind and is therefore perceived as strange. Along with his unique appearance, another aspect that sets him apart is his unusual wish to feel the snow on Cape Cod. 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!

Available on Amazon here:


With lots of love and care, this tale swims into insecurity and the desire to follow dreams, even if others are laughing about it.

Mossy is a young manatee, who dreams of visiting Cape Cod and experiencing the snow. It's so important to Mossy that he carries a snow globe of Cape Cod around with him. When he heads to school, not only does his 'mossed-over' appearance make him a target for ridicule, but the other sea animals laugh at his dream. After all, Cape Cod is too cold for manatees. But maybe, there's a way to solve the situation after all.

First off, I was happy to see a tale about manatees. These are on the rarer side, especially ones which tell a cute tale. Then, Mossy is sweet, and his problems are easy to relate to. The idea of being bullied isn't a new theme, by any means, but this one adds a nice twist with Mossy's desire to visit Cape Cod. Plus, it keeps a positive attitude and shows family love the entire way through. It's a feel-good story with a tiny bit to learn about manatees along the way.

The illustrations are very well done and made this a treat to flip through. The illustrator does an amazing job with the undersea world...while keeping it light and friendly. It's worth a read just to visit each scene.

This is intended for audiences five to eight and is written in rhyme. The vocabulary and writing does work well for the age group, and the rhymes flow well enough. I, personally, would have preferred it without the rhyme, but that's really just my thought. The tale holds the reader in the pages and does a nice job at bringing Mossy to life. It'd be fun to swim around with him. I'd say this makes a good read-aloud, but the various fonts and sporadic placement of the text (which does have its plus-points), makes it difficult to read to a group. 

This is a cute picture book with a nice message and a great character, which will draw in readers and bring more awareness to manatees.

And here she is...

Nika Tomljenovic is an author, playwright, scriptwriter, and video game writer. She received her MA in Creative Writing from City, University of London. Her plays, Medicine and Spectacular, have been produced in New York City and throughout Canada. Her screenwriting credits include the short film, No More No Less, which was part of the London-based, Pinewood Studio’s Lift-Off Sessions. More recently, Nika has been adapting her writing to video games in the crypto space and children’s literature.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nope, you certainly don't see many books about manatees although they are big draws at aquariums.