In a Jar
By Deborah Marcero
(for readers in grades preschool–2nd grade)
As we prepare for an unusual Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deborah Marcero’s In a Jar is a wonderful story to help families feel festive. Llewellyn, a bunny rabbit, is a collector of the usual and familiar: autumn leaves, bird feathers, sea shells, heart shaped stones, and so on. He then takes those things and puts them into jars, which captures his memories of these moments of time he experienced. One night, he meets Evelyn (another bunny) when he is trying to capture something less tangible and ordinary: the light of a brilliant sunset. He succeeds and fills a second jar for Evelyn. This marked the beginning of a beautiful partnership. “[Together] they collected things hard to hold, like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls.” When Llewellyn learns that Evelyn is moving away the news devastates him. Read In a Jar to find out how he copes with the loss of his dear friend.
Marcero’s story is magical and timeless, while focusing on genuine concerns and emotions. The stylistic choice of having miniature panels across many of the illustrations allows the reader to zoom into Llewellyn’s fantastical world. The drawings showcase the beauty within our world, and just how breathtaking nature is. Llewellyn captures moments in time in his jars, which is an impactful message for children. Even when life feels out of our control, we can still find many moments to be thankful for. This story allows us to think about connection and what being a good friend means.