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Author Spotlight: Jeff Mack

August 20, 2019

Jeff Mack is a genius! He is easily one of my top five favorite authors for books to read with infants and toddlers.

He makes my little librarian heart pitter-patter with glee every time I see his books. The ones I love are so simple, using at most two to four words, to convey a whole story. Yep, a whole story. Sometimes…he only uses TWO LETTERS.

You’re probably wondering how a story could possibly be told with so little vocabulary. And, why are they so good for children if they don’t have many words?

Well, let me tell you – illustrations are everything!

When you use pictures' clues to help you figure out what is happening in the story that is called inferring. And, boy, oh boy, can you do a lot of that with Mack’s books! The facial expressions and minute details, alone, are incredible. Then, you pair that with the rest of the image, and you probably don’t even need to read the words before your child will say them for you.

That’s the other best part of his books though – they can be easily read.

If you have a toddler or preschooler that is not quite reading on their own, they can repeat the phrases that you introduce to them. Take, for instance, the book Mine. Point out the word to your child, practice saying it, and then, read! They will feel incredibly proud of themselves that they can do it all on their own. Plus, repetition is key to developing early literacy and helping your child get ready to read.

So, the more your child reads the book with or to you, and the more you talk about what’s happening in the illustrations, the more fun you will have (and…shh…the more prepared for school they will be)!

Check out my favorite Jeff Mack books

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Cassie is a Children's Librarian at Edmondson Pike Branch Library. She can often be found reading books and singing songs, and not just at the library! Her favorite thing to do at the moment is cuddle her baby while they read phenomenal picture books and earn Read to Rise points.