Mossy the Manatee follows the adventures of a young manatee from Florida who is differently colored. His green appearance makes him feel out of place, but he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that helps him embrace his differences. Finally, he follows his dreams to see the snow on Cape Cod with the help of his mom and closest friend.
My Thoughts about Mossy the Manatee
Mossy the Manatee has an excellent message for parents and kids alike. Mossy wants one thing in life: to see the snow of Cape Cod. But he’s in a bit of a pickle. He is embarrassed by his green moss, yet his green moss is something that will help him achieve his dream. His mom is supportive of his goal and helps Mossy realize that although he is shy about his appearance, it is what makes him unique that enables him to achieve what he wants, what the others say no longer matters. Finally, Mossy shows the rest of the manatees how wrong they were to bully and make fun of him.
Trying not to get political, but nowadays, there are a lot of children’s books where the parent or “adult” is encouraging kids to change. I appreciate how Mossy the Manatee conveyed that you don’t need to change to fit in or achieve your goals. Mossy no longer cared what the other manatees said about his appearance. He accepts himself for who he is. He “owned” his appearance where he wanted more moss, the thing he originally hated the most.
I am short and was always embarrassed about it and endured a lot of hurtful comments by classmates. However, if I had a story like Mossy the Manatee on my bookshelf as a kid, I wouldn’t have let others’ comments bother me so much. Kids on both sides (the bullies and the bullied) will learn a lot from Nika Tomljenovic’s uplifting debut novel.
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