Tag Archives: jeff mack

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Mine! by Jeff Mack

26 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a nice story about sharing!

By Jeff Mack
40 pages – ages 3+

Will be Published by Chronicle Books on May 9, 2017

Theme/Topic- Sharing
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Mine!”

Synopsis from Publisher: “Start with one rock. Add two mice. The end result? A never-ending battle! Or is it? Using only one word, along with many brightly colored and lively illustrations, Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will have readers of every age reconsidering whether “Mine!” is the best answer.”

What I Thought- This was a fun book that had a theme on sharing. Mack has a way of using very few words to tell a story – in “Mine!”, he only uses the title word with varying repetition and punctuation to create the story. His illustrations are also very light-hearted, and read like a comic. Mack has a way of writing a wacky story that kids will enjoy reading.

Activities and Resources- There is a nice list of activities to teach sharing at Connectability.ca HERE!

Raisingchildren.net.au has a nice article with ideas on encouraging sharing HERE!

There is a good informational article from Handinhandparenting.org explaining about the psychological why kids want to share and act the way they do HERE!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Who Needs a Bath? by Jeff Mack

12 Mar

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a nice story about how baths and pool parties are pretty similar and pretty cool! 🙂

who needs bathWho Needs a Bath?
By Jeff Mack
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on October 6, 2015

Theme/Topic- Bath time / friendship

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening:It was Skunk’s birthday.
Bear had a plan.

[Party at the Pond! DON’T tell Skunk. It’s a SURPRISE!]”

Synopsis: From Amazon- Bear has a plan to throw Skunk a surprise birthday party, but shhh—it’s a secret! There’s just one problem—who wants to party with a stinky skunk? Bear thinks of the perfect solution; now if only he can convince Skunk that baths are fun…

What I Thought- I loved Who Wants a Hug?, the previous book (see my review HERE), and this next book is just as good! Bear is a fun character who is good natured, and always optimistic. Skunk looks a lot like those villains in old cartoons. He’s nice, but very stubborn, clever, and good at not doing what he doesn’t want to do. Mr. Mack’s story is funny, and kids will love reading it over and over again. Mr. Mack’s illustrations really put the icing on the cake, and cement the story into fans’ hearts. I whole-heartedly recommend this book!

Activities and Resources- Talk about the benefits of good hygiene! HERE are some good worksheets for kids!

Discuss how to throw a great surprise party! HERE is a great how-to!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Who Wants a Hug? by Jeff Mack

13 Mar

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I find the humor in it hilarious and I think it may ba a good book for kids who are and are not “huggers.”

hugWho Wants a Hug?

Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on January 6, 2015

Theme/Topic- Hugging/Trying something new

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis-  Opening -“Everyone liked bear. No one liked skunk.

Synopsis (publisher’s description) – Everyone likes hugs, especially when Bear gives them! Everyone, that is, except for Skunk. Bear really gets on Skunk’s nerves. He’s too happy . . . and he’s always giving way too many hugs! Skunk has the perfect plan to keep Bear from giving any more hugs. Will it work?

Why I liked this book- I know this may surprise you, as I [normally] am not the hugging type of guy, but I really liked this book. Mr. Mack has written and illustrated a funny, cute story about how a skunk doesn’t like that a bear is liked more. Well, this may explain why:




Picture from JeffMack.com. Click on picture to see more.

Picture from JeffMack.com. Click on picture to see more.

Isn’t that illustration awesome! I like Skunk’s top hat. 🙂 The story is really nice, and would make a great read-aloud. The pictures are warm and fuzzy (there are a bunch of woodland creatures – why WOULDN’T it be fuzzy? 😉 ) and make you smile. To me, it feels like a fairy-tale a bit, mostly because Skunk has a top hat (I WANT that top hat!!!). Mr. Mack has written another great story. There is humor throughout the book that will make little kids laugh and big kids chuckle!

Activities and Resources-

It would be fun (if you read this book in class) for kids to bring in a stuffed animal they can hug while reading the book.

I found this teacher guide from Super Duper Publications on teaching kids about personal space and how to tell if someone needs more. Click HERE.

To see more of the book’s interior and learn more about Jeff Mack, visit his website by clicking HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Interview with Author/Illustrator Jeff Mack!

11 Nov
A few Fridays ago I nominated DUCK IN THE FRIDGE by Jeff Mack (Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014) as a perfect picture book (see the review HERE). Mr. Mack has written and illustrated numerous picture and chapter books (see more at JeffMack.com ), some of which I have reviewed on my site. I am quite a fan of Mr. Mack’s work.  Today I am happy to have him as a guest on my blog! Read on to enjoy learning more about Mr. Mack’s writing and illustrating process!
Erik – When I saw the title of your book – Duck in the Fridge, I knew I had to have the book! How did you come up with such an awesome title?
Mr. Mack – I took the title from a line in the book.  When I started writing this story seven years ago, the first sentence I thought of was “I don’t know how the duck got in the fridge, but he made a huge mess.” To me, this sounded like a great way to start a story, a real attention grabber that made me wonder what would happen next. The trouble was, it took me a long time to figure out what happened next. After many revised drafts, I added the parts about the father at the beginning and at the end. And I moved that first sentence about the duck in the fridge closer to the middle. But the title stayed exactly the same.
 Erik –  You are right about it being an attention grabber! Why a duck and not a squirrel or a bunny?
Mr. Mack – Well, if you think about it in a certain way, it’s not so rare to keep a duck in the fridge. Or at least duck leftovers. I like that it sounds as if I’m talking about two different things: either a roast duck or a quacking duck. If I called it “Turkey in the Fridge” or “Tuna Fish in the Fridge”, the joke might be too obvious. But if it was a bunny or a squirrel in the fridge, at least on one level, it would be too creepy.
Erik –  Well I for one am glad it was a quacking duck in the fridge not a roasted one! As an author/illustrator, what’s your favorite part – writing or illustrating or do you enjoy both?
Mr. Mack – My favorite part is telling a story. With picture books, I think the writing and illustrating are difficult to separate. Drawing pictures in a sequence is one way to write. Each picture represents a whole bunch of words. And the sequence creates the plot. Then the actual words provide extra info that adds meaning to those pictures. The two parts, writing and illustrating, work together to tell the complete story. So, basically, I like both.
Erik – Mr. Mack sent along some sketches from his book DUCK IN THE FRIDGE. It’s cool to see how the sketches get turned into the illustrations in the book and how they change from the original idea.
Erik – Did your dad tell you wacky stories like this (I know mine does 😉 )?
Mr. Mack – Yes, all the time. He still does. I’ve heard them all a million times, but he keeps telling them. And they never get old. Well, almost never.
Erik –  Ha ha! I know what you mean about “almost never.” What is your favorite fairytale of all?
Mr. Mack – I was always partial to Rumplestiltskin. I love the idea of a character who makes something valuable (gold) out of something worthless (straw). Isn’t that what every artist does? Spin precious metals out of horse food?
 Erik –  Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
Mr. Mack – Sure, I have a new picture book coming out in April called “Look!”. It’s about a gorilla who competes against a television for a little boy’s attention. It’s also about a battle between low-technology vs. high-technology, books vs. screens. So I used both low and high-tech methods to illustrate it: watercolor and digital collage. It’s a fun and interesting story, and there are only two words in the entire book. One of them is “Look.” Can you guess what the other one is?
091lookcoverjeffmack 092looksample5jeffmack 063looksample3jeffmack
Erik – That’s a GREAT premise for a story! I will definitely be on the LOOK OUT for this one! Thank you for joining me today on This Kid Reviews Books Mr. Mack!
To learn more, please visit Jeff Mack’s website by clicking HERE!

Perfect Picturebook Friday! Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

10 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is so ZANY!

duckinthe Duck in the Fridge

by Jeff Mack

32 pages  – ages 4+

Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014

Theme/Topic- Bedtime

Genre- Fiction/Humor

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “Daddy, why do you always read me Mother Goose before bed?

Synopsis – (from the inside jacket) “When Dad was a boy, he discovered a duck in the fridge! And more ducks all over the house. He invited some sheep to get rid of the ducks. And then dogs to get rid of the sheep. And so on and so on. But no one left. The house was a mess!

Why I liked this book- DUCK IN THE FRIDGE – come on the title is awesome! *hee hee* This story is all out fun. Every time I turned the page (after I had calmed my giggling down), I’d giggle again! Mr. Mack has written a very funny, wacky book about a dad telling his son about a time when he was younger and had to get someone who didn’t want to fall asleep to fall asleep! His illustrations are cute and light-hearted. Ducks are just funny too! I like all of the little details in the pages. There’s no great message in the book, just a fun bedtime story and sometimes we just need one of those! The ending is really nice too.


Mr. Mack has previews of the interior pages on his website (click HERE to go THERE).


Activities and Resources-

I had a hard time thinking of activities for this one. A lot of kids get baths before bedtime so maybe get some rubber duckies for their bath and make a matching game out of it. You could write letters or numbers on the bottom of each duck (make sure you make pairs up) and put the duckies in the bath and have your child try to find the matches. Then after the bath your child can dry the duckies off and get them ready for bed.


You could also do what the dad did in the book! Read some Mother Goose before bed (after you read DUCK IN THE FRIDGE 😉 )!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack

28 Nov

Clueless McGee

Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack

256 pages – ages 8+

Published by Philomel on August 16, 2012

PJ McGee thinks he’s a detective, ninja and a spy just like his dad…only he’s not. In fact, PJ is kind of a disaster, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to solve the mystery of the stolen Mac’n’Cheese! The school’s most favorite lunch is missing and PJ decides he (along with his friend Dante) is the guy to find out who did it! After searching for clues, and making a few mistakes… OK, not a few, he pretty much messed everything up. PJ is sure he knows who stole the Mac’n’Cheese,  but then that person hired him to clear his name. Is PJ wrong? Probably. After annoying the entire school and getting into all sorts of trouble, PJ is still clueless!

This was a VERY funny book. It was a quick read but it was enjoyable. There wasn’t any message or lesson to the story, it was just fun. The illustrations that Mr. Mack created really made the story. PJ was a very funny character I liked how he was so…clueless. I thought that how the story was told was very unique. PJ tells the story through letters he writes to his dad. PJ thinks his dad is on some super secret spy mission only the reader doesn’t know where he really is.I wonder if we will find out in the next book.  Fans of Big Nate and the Wimpy Kid series will really like this book. I also think kids 8+ would like this book!

Four out of Five bookworms for Clueless McGee!

Clueless McGee Book 2 (Clueless McGee and the Inflatable Pants) comes out in June next year! Click HERE to check it out!

To learn more about Mr. Mack and his books, click HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack

7 Sep

Woot Woot Woot! Perfect Picture Book Friday is BACK!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think this is now one of my favorite Picture Books and Josie, my little sister, liked it too. 🙂 

Good News Bad News

By Jeff Mack

40 Pages – Ages 1+

Published by Chronicle Books on July 4, 2012

Theme/Topic – Moods/Thinking Positive

Opening and Synopsis – GOOD NEWS, Rabbit and Mouse are going on a picnic. BAD NEWS, it is starting to rain. GOOD NEWS, Rabbit has an umbrella. BAD NEWS, the stormy winds blow the umbrella (and Mouse) into a tree” (taken from the front jacket flap). 

Rabbit always looks on the bright side. Mouse is a bit grouchy. Can they have a nice picnic together?

Why I liked this book –  This is one of the best books for kids just starting to look at books. The whole story is told using just FOUR words! The illustrations are bright and cute, the words repeat, making it easy to teach kids how to read. The story teaches that their moods can affect other people. I have read this 6 times already, and I still enjoy it!

Activities and Resources –

Chronicle Books made a nice activity kit to go with the book, you can click HERE to go there.

I also thought you could plan a picnic! If something bad happens, talk to your kids about something good that can come out of it.

The Trailer is really cute, I like the voices. 🙂

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

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