- In a Jar by Deborah Marcero
Marcero, Deborah In a Jar; written and illus. by Deborah Marcero. Putnam, 2020 [38p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-525-51459-6 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-525-51460-2 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R 4-7 yrs
Llewellyn the bunny collects things that make him happy, like "buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones," and stores them in jars. He makes friends with Evelyn and together they collect mementos of their wonderful experiences, even things "you might not think would even fit in a jar," like rainbows and the sound of the ocean. When Evelyn moves away, they're both sad, but then they realize that they can still use the jars to share their lives with each other. The jar notion is a flight of Pinterest-ready fancy, but the friendship plot and the specifics of appreciation keep the story from floating away on its own whimsy. Trim lines with occasional gentle hatching, aided by colored pencil, watercolor, and digital elements, also keep the conceptual details paradoxically concrete in Llewellyn's growing collection of jars, and the two bunnies, with their rectangular, anthropomorphized shapes and straight antennae ears, are cozy yet also endearingly offbeat. This could make an interesting partner to Denos' Here and Now (BCCB 9/19) in a celebration of moments, or it could couple with Doerrfeld's Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! (BCCB 7/19) for a discussion of how sharing feeds a friendship.