The Planet in a Pickle Jar almost has a “part one” and “part two” to it. You start off with the grandchildren of a grandmother saying their grandmother is dull, never laughs or talks until they show up. When they finally visit, they think her house is dull, the grandmother tells long tedious stories and things are boring. Of course, you see the artwork presenting everything as mysterious and boldly colored and overflowing with details. The second part is one day the grandmother is missing, the children go searching for her to find not only the grandmother, but a bold, beautiful world. And they realize what they grandmother was talking about. And they realize that like their grandmother, they need to try and save the beautiful planet/world they live in.
It is now you realize the point of Martin Staney’s story. It is about conservation. It is about the gifts the older generation has to give us. It is not about a couple of spoiled siblings and their grandmother but about a couple of spoiled siblings, their grandmother, and the wonderful things around them all.
Now The End.
Of course, you the reader can take a lot of different things from it. There are multiple meanings and themes and parts to it all. While it is an all-ages book (nothing bad happens and there is a bit of “action” to keep you moving along) it is aimed at the five and up crowd the most. Of course, younger children will read the illustrations and make their own stories up as they go along.