Irena's Jars of Secrets

By Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

[T]his is a solid offering; historic events are described in accessible but meaningful ways, episodes are recalled with just enough details to add emotional weight, and an informative afterword and list of sources ground the story in historical fact. The story is effectively framed by Irena’s commission from her father to help those in need, a lesson that may resonate with contemporary readers of the story. . . . Mazellan is adept at using touches of brighter color to shine light on specific regions of the scenes, and his oil paintings offer dramatic interpretations of the dark times detailed in the text. This would make an excellent addition to a study on unsung heroes as well as a good selection for independent readers drawn to such stories.