Mine by Jeff Mack

There’s this book – Good News, Bad News – that I often put on display in my former library. The cover was eye-catching, but better still was the story’s message: that if you look hard enough, a bit of good can be found in any bad situation. This takeaway, the eye-catching illustrations – along with only those three words (good, bad, news) – made it a favorite among students and staff.

The author is Jeff Mack, and he has another hit on his hands with the forthcoming Mine!.  Mice again star in this limited-word story; in this case, the title word is the only word in the book.  It is, however, far from a one-note hit.

Mine! by Jeff Mack

Two mice. One large rock. And one giant problem: whose rock is it? Both mice declare “Mine!” as they engage in a match of cunning and try to outwit the other to lay claim to the prize. As the trickery increases, so too do the reactions.  The storyline and subject are enough to make it a good read for young learners struggling with sharing; however, it’s Mack’s illustrations that are a gold mine for teachers incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) with their students. There is much to take in and then discuss from the animated mice – their facial expressions and body language range from ebullient to miserable, triumphant to dejected – and ensuing conversation would likely be rich and impactful.  Mine’s unique case cover under the book jacket adds to the design appeal and provides an opportunity for some critical thinking for young readers: imagine what the mice would do if they saw that cheese!  Pair with Anna Kang’s That is (Not) Mine for a double-dose of consideration for others and cooperative agreement.  Share with ages 2-7.

Mine! releases May 9, 2017.

One of the previewed titles at 2017 London Book Fair at the Chronicle/Abrams booth.

I’m a fan of book cover/case cover designs. It’s something I look for, teach students to examine, and share in every read-aloud. My own children will often inspect library books to see what’s under the taped cover. If you like these design differences too, be sure to look into The Undies, an award for best book/case cover design.

Cheers, y’all! 🙂 arika

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