STARRED REVIEW
February 2020

In a Jar

illustrated by Deborah Marcero
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There is a moment of magic in every good book when the book’s heart and the reader meet exquisitely. In the best books—the very best ones—that moment lasts from front cover to back. Deborah Marcero’s In a Jar is that kind of book. 

Little bunny Llewellyn carries jars everywhere he goes; in them, he collects objects that remind him of special moments. When Llewellyn makes a new friend, he finds that his jars hold not just moments but also friendship itself. After all, the best collections—whether seashells, stamps or books—are made with someone you love.

Marcero’s prose has an openness and simplicity that masks its literary prowess. She employs similes, vibrant descriptions, rhymes and alliteration with ease, turning anyone who reads this aloud into a master storyteller. 

This is writing that needs no artwork, but Marcero is an equally gifted illustrator, filling every page with color and movement. Washes of paint and hashed pencil lines give texture and atmosphere to even the smallest sketch. From a field bursting with bluebell flowers to a particularly charming image of the bunny slipper-clad Llewellyn, every inch of every spread is worth examining. In a surreal touch, the jars themselves become frames containing rainbows, cups of hot chocolate, lightning strikes, a family of ducks, ski slopes and the tight squeeze of a subway car. Enchanting, indeed.

In a Jar does what all the best picture books do: It captivates, entertains and leaves you with a reminder of magic still shimmering around the edges. 

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In a Jar

In a Jar

illustrated by Deborah Marcero
Putnam
ISBN 9780525514596

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