Storm In A Jar by Samuel Langley-Swain and Katie Cottle

Publication Date: 21 September 2021

The Blurb

Arlo visited Nana every Sunday, and she would always have new sweets waiting for him inside a special jar. So when Arlo finds out Nana has passed away, he keeps the jar with him to feel safe and closer to his Nana. But as his sadness turns to anger, a storm builds inside the jar, until Arlo has enough – and smashes it open! What will happen when the storm rushes out?

The Review

“Everything we keep bottled up inside always finds a way of coming out.”

A delicately told tale of bereavement and grief, and the tumultuous range of emotions that can overwhelm us while we come to terms with the fact that someone important in our life is no longer with us.

From the initial shock and sadness to the anger that simmers inside, we see Arlo struggle with releasing his emotions in a safe and healthy way. Katie Cottle’s illustrations darken as his anger grows showing the storm building within him, and lighten again as his Mum and Dad support him and share in their grief once he opens up to them, and they keep family traditions alive and Nana close to their hearts.

Storm In A Jar is such a versatile book, suitable across all primary age ranges, and although it deals with grief, it could easily be used to show how bottling up sadness and anger from any source is harmful to our mental health.

A free discussion and learning guide for Storm In A jar is available from Owlet Press. There are two brilliant science experiments based on the jar in the story to try out at the end of the story too.

Huge thanks to Owlet Press for sending me a copy for review.