Memory Jars
by Brosgol, Vera






Freda uses jars to save everything from a chocolate chip cookie to the full moon, just as her grandmother saves summer blueberries. Includes a recipe for blueberry jam.





Vera Brosgol was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1984 and moved to the United States when she was five. Her books include the graphic novels Anya's Ghost and Be Prepared, and the 2017 Caldecott Honor picture book Leave Me Alone! She drew storyboards for the animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. She lives with her dog, Omar, in Portland, Oregon, where she puts all kinds of things into jars every summer.





*Starred Review* Freda loves the blueberries she collects with Gran every summer, so much so that she wants to eat them all before they're gone! Clever Gran, though, knows better: they make blueberry jam (recipe in the back matter!) so they can enjoy the fruit even in the winter. Brosgol (Leave Me Alone! 2016) begins her latest with a fairly quotidian cooking project, but she soon spins the task of canning to fantastical proportions. Inspired by her gran's ability to preserve something she adores, Freda sets out to put everything she loves in jars: a fresh-baked cookie, a Popsicle, a unicorn-shaped cloud, her best friend before he moves away, the moon, and-inevitably-Gran. Brosgol's cartoonish illustrations become dusky and quiet once Freda is done with her task and stacks of jars fill her house. It's an unsettling image that poignantly communicates the implications of wanting to save everything instead of experiencing it, even if that experience is fleeting. A taste of blueberry jam makes her realize her mistake, in a sunny two-page spread of Freda's blissful face, surrounded by images of happy summer memories. Brosgol's artwork does a lot of heavy lifting, making fantastic use of color and white space, while subtle details in the artwork clearly communicate Freda's change of heart. This playful, off-kilter story will resonate with any kid frustrated by a good thing being over too soon. Grades K-3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* Freda loves the blueberries she collects with Gran every summer, so much so that she wants to eat them all before they're gone! Clever Gran, though, knows better: they make blueberry jam (recipe in the back matter!) so they can enjoy the fruit even in the winter. Brosgol (Leave Me Alone! 2016) begins her latest with a fairly quotidian cooking project, but she soon spins the task of canning to fantastical proportions. Inspired by her gran's ability to preserve something she adores, Freda sets out to put everything she loves in jars: a fresh-baked cookie, a Popsicle, a unicorn-shaped cloud, her best friend before he moves away, the moon, and-inevitably-Gran. Brosgol's cartoonish illustrations become dusky and quiet once Freda is done with her task and stacks of jars fill her house. It's an unsettling image that poignantly communicates the implications of wanting to save everything instead of experiencing it, even if that experience is fleeting. A taste of blueberry jam makes her realize her mistake, in a sunny two-page spread of Freda's blissful face, surrounded by images of happy summer memories. Brosgol's artwork does a lot of heavy lifting, making fantastic use of color and white space, while subtle details in the artwork clearly communicate Freda's change of heart. This playful, off-kilter story will resonate with any kid frustrated by a good thing being over too soon. Grades K-3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





A young girl learns that she can store all sorts of things in jars-but should she? It's summer, and Freda and her gran, who are both Black, are out picking blueberries. There and on the journey home, Freda stuffs herself silly with blueberries but wails, "I can't do it! I can't eat them all!" Gran tells her not to worry because they'll make blueberry jam-a favorite of Freda's deceased grandpa-so they can enjoy blueberries, even in the winter. If blueberries can be kept for later enjoyment in jars, Freda wonders, what else can be saved? Freda starts small (with a warm cookie) and soon graduates to bigger things (her friend Jack, who's moving to Arizona) and on to items significantly larger than that (the moon) and even the nonphysical (music). After Freda puts Gran in a jar (with consent!) she finally begins to see that it may be better to enjoy some things in the moment. Maybe. Brosgol's accomplished line-and-color art is bright and engaging, and it neatly pairs with the text, giving the illustrations space to tell the story not expressed in words. In close-ups, however, Freda's drawn with wide eyes and prominent reddish lips, a depiction that's uncomfortably reminiscent of caricature. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A charming concept undermined by unfortunate visuals. (recipe) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions