In a Jar (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020) by Deborah Marcero is a delightful book of magical remembrances and friendship. And it’s about collecting, which kids love to do. I love the feel of the illustrations, too.
Llewellyn collects things in jars. These jars remind him of “all the wonderful things” he has seen and done. One evening he collects “cherry light into his jars.” (I so want to be able to do this.) And gives one jar of light to Evelyn. The two become friends and collect together. Then she moves away. “With Evelyn gone, Llewellyn’s heart felt like an empty jar.” See how he solves this.
This book reminds me a lot of Button and Bundle by Gretchen McLellan. See an interview with the author here. The two books make good companion stories.
Author/illustrator Deborah Marcero has written and/or illustrated other books. Read about them here.
Thinning seedlings from my baby flower garden feels a lot like when I have to delete darlings in a manuscript: I really hate to do it, but I know it will make the remaining flowers/words grow stronger and more beautiful. Ellie Terry
A Dash of Dragon, The Mystic Cooking Chronicles, (Aladdin, 2017) by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski is an interesting mix of fantasy, cooking, and adventure.
Thirteen-year-old chef Lailu has apprenticed to Master Slipshod and they have opened a restaurant together. However, she didn’t know how her master had gotten the money. Not only has he put Mystic Cooking at risk, but he has promised Mr. Boss he and Lailu will work for him forever if they can’t pay. Hunting the dangerous meat for their menus–kracken, basilisk fish, and more–isn’t nearly as scary as some of their customers or the escalating problems that Lailu confronts. Will she lose her freedom or her life?
There are three books in this series. Book two, A Hint of Hydra, came out in 2018, and book three, A Pinch of Hydra in 2019.
Learn more about this team of authors–they’re sisters–here. This fall the pair has another book coming out. Whispering Pines is an “eerie heart-pounding mystery” according to the publisher. Read more here.
The novelist is like the conductor of an orchestra, his back to the audience, his face invisible, summoning the experience of music for the people he cannot see. Sol Stein