The Planet in a Pickle Jar: Fill Your Own Magical Pickle Jar with Martin Stanev!

The Planet in a Pickle Jar is the new magical children’s picture book about two children staying at Grandma’s house for their usual visit. They can’t help but think she’s stuffy and no fun at all: even the dinner she makes is predictable! But when Grandma goes missing and wild animals start popping up around the house, they realise she has a secret… and it’s something to do with all those pickle jars!

Martin Stanev invites you to fill a pickle jar with something you love! Find a pickle jar and fill it with something you value to make sure it is preserved for the future. Is it a memory, a feeling, a behaviour, an object, an animal or a favourite person you’d like to hold onto? 

Here’s what Martin put in his jars…

Jar 1

In my first jar I chose to preserve forests, because they are truly wonderful natural habitats and are vital to the biodiversity on our planet. Another reason for choosing forests is that back in my home country I used to be surrounded by them so I also wanted to create something that would remind me of home. 

How I made it: As I didn’t want to pick up any organic material that was already happily living in its natural habitat, I only used things that had already fallen on the ground or that I already had. Some of the pinecones and sticks are from my home country that I’ve brought from over 1,500 miles! For the background, I printed a painting of one of the forests I’d done for the book and used shredded green tissue paper instead of moss.

Jar 2

For my second jar, I chose to preserve three behaviours that I wish I could hold onto, and that we all as a collective should embrace.

Kindness – because lately we’ve understood how important it is to be kind and take care of each other 

Curiosity – because we should use curiosity as guidance to always keep learning

Creativity – because I believe everyone can draw! (And for those days when it’s a little bit harder to find it!) 

How I made it: I wrote the words on pieces of paper and added shredded coloured tissue paper for some extra magic!

ACTIVITY TIME: Fill Your Own Magical Pickle Jars!

You will need: 

A. a clear jar with a lid (you could use a jam jar or any kind of food jar – just make sure it is clean!) Top tip: you can peel a sticky label off easily by soaking it in warm soapy water


B. print off our activity sheet with empty jars here


Preserve your favourite things you would like to keep for the future by putting them in the jars. Is it a memory, a feeling, a behaviour, an object, an animal or a favourite person you’d like to hold onto? 

Go hunting for things you love – shapes, colours, objects – that you can find close to you. Use pens, pencils, coloured paper, stamps – anything! Just like Martin, create jars which are full of something you love. What will you put in your pickle jar?

(Top tip: If you, like Martin, want to use something in nature, remember to be kind to living things by leaving them in their natural habitat)

What next?

Snap a picture and write a few sentences about what you chose to fill your jar with and why – just like Martin! Store your beautiful jar somewhere that it will be safe forever. 

Share your creations!

The friendly bunch at Flying Eye Books would love to see your magical jars! We’ll also make sure author Martin Stanev sees them. 

Share your creations with us on social media – we’re @flyingeyebooks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – using the hashtag #inmypicklejar. Or, get in touch via email at [email protected]t.

We can’t wait to see what you create! 

The Planet in a Pickle Jar

Martin Stanev

A gorgeously illustrated picture book about not judging people based on appearances, and how families can work together to help save the planet, author/illustrator Martin Stanev’s debut book will make a beautiful, and fun, addition to any child’s bookshelf.