Cover image for In a jar
In a jar
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When Llewellyn, a little rabbit who collects ordinary things in jars, meets a young girl named Evelyn, he joins with her to capture the extraordinary.


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Llewellyn, a little rabbit, is a collector. He gathers things in jars--ordinary things like buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones. Then he meets another rabbit, Evelyn, and together they begin to collect extraordinary things--like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls. And, best of all, when they hold the jars and peer inside, they remember all the wonderful things they've seen and done. But one day, Evelyn has sad news- Her family is moving away. How can the two friends continue their magical collection--and their special friendship--from afar?

Author Notes

Deborah Marcero is the author and illustrator of My Heart Is a Compass , which Kirkus Reviews called "lovely, lively, and enchanting," in a starred review, and the illustrator of Twinderella by Corey Rosen Schwartz. She received a BFA in drawing, printmaking, and photography from the University of Michigan and an MFA in poetry from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After teaching in Chicago public schools as a literacy specialist, Deborah realized that writing and creating books for kids was how she wanted to spend her life. Learn more at and follow her on Twitter @deborahmarcero .

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2--Marcero (My Heart Is a Compass) applies her considerable talents here to the art of collecting. Llewellyn is a young rabbit who saves treasures in jars that he places on shelves. At first, these items are fairly typical of young gatherers: leaves, shells, heart-shaped stones. It is when he arrives at the shore on a night "the sunset painted the sky the color of tart cherry syrup"--and when he meets Evelyn--that the collections become more interesting. He gives a jar with the "cherry light" to his new friend, and it "glowed through the night with the memory of that sunset." Marcero's pencil, watercolor, ink, and digital compositions display a marvelous sense of pattern within exquisite spreads. A scene with dozens of white birch trees is enlivened by hundreds of yellow and orange leaves, presented as single entities. As the seasons change, pink tulips in various shades dot a deep green field, moving closer together as they recede in the distance. Insets in a range of combinations and sequences focus on details and are sometimes shaped like jars; these show the progression of wondrous phenomena and experiences the duo share: snowball fights, firelight, ducklings, and thunderstorms. Then, Evelyn must move away. Throughout the narrative, sensitive pacing; understated but lovely language; and creative imagery combine to convey the deepening bond and the pair's way of connecting when presented with physical distance. VERDICT An enchanting examination of the pleasure reaped from cultivating imagination, friendship, and memory.--Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

Publisher's Weekly Review

Llewellyn, a stumpy white rabbit with stand-up ears, meets Evelyn as he gathers sunset light that's "the color of tart cherry syrup." He collects all kinds of precious things and keeps them in jars ("buttercups,/ feathers,/ and heart-shaped stones"), and now he has a friend to help. He and Evelyn (she's a rabbit, too) spend several happy seasons assembling treasures until Evelyn tells Llewellyn that her family is moving. "Llewellyn's heart felt like an empty jar." Then he works out a way to share new wonders with Evelyn even though she's far away. Thin, spidery lines trace the outlines of the eccentric collection of jars and their contents: "rainbows,/ the sound of the ocean,/ and the wind just before the snow falls." Color and scale add drama as the two small rabbits wander amid a sea of pink and red tulips and gaze at their own elongated shadows. Miniature panels of experiences and objects offer the charm of snow globes. Marcero (Rosie and Crayon) provides a metaphor for the importance of capturing fleeting moments, and an image of a friendship that overcomes separation. Ages 3--7. Agent: Danielle Smith, Lupine Grove Creative. (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

Two rabbits collect shared memories in jarsvisualizations of intangible moments that build their friendship and help sustain it when one moves away.Llewellyn is a collector of rocks and feathers and other mundane items until he meets Evelyn. Together they experience a sensational sunset, which he scoops into a jar for her. The memory of that event softly glows like a night light in its jar, bringing warmth and comfort to her as she sleeps. The bunnies' jars soon become filled with experiential wonders: snowball fights and hot cocoa, exploring tulip-filled fields and playing until their shadows grow long at dusk. After Evelyn moves, it takes a glittering meteor shower for Llewelyn to realize the jars might allow them to continue to share their lives with each other. The illustrations feature simple, cartoonlike characters. But while the drawing style may be simplified, sophisticated patterning and color design, as well as intricate pen work, create a lush and detailed world. The artist moves between small inserted panels and large spreads to great effect, creating whimsical and uplifting art that perfectly matches the text. In the art, Marcero builds a visual vocabulary for the meaning and importance of memories. As Evelyn opens a jar and stars from Llewelyn's night sky swirl and fall around her, readers will feel the warmth of friendship and the wonder of the world as well.Stunning. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Llewellyn, an anthropomorphized white rabbit, adores collecting things to remind him of all the wonderful things he had seen and done. Fall leaves, heart-shaped stones, seashells they all go into glass jars that line the shelves of his living room. When a spectacular sunset the color of tart cherry syrup draws Llewellyn down to the seashore, he scoops some of the light into jars, giving one to another bunny also observing the sunset. This is how he and Evelyn become best friends. Marcero works magic with prismatic watercolors, ink, and pencil, as her light-filled illustrations chronicle the young rabbits' exploits and their appreciative wonder of the world around them. In her artwork, Marcero collects their meaningful moments in jars, setting them against a scenic backdrop, perhaps a field of snow or flowers. But then Evelyn and her family move away. Lonely for his friend, Llewellyn awakens one night to a meteor shower and decides to collect it for Evelyn. He sends a star-filled jar to her in the mail, to which she replies with a package of city lights and sounds. This joyful account of friendship will charm readers with the notion of capturing wind or a rainbow in a jar, but its deeper message of maintaining relationships over a distance will comfort those who have moved or know someone who has.--Julia Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist