The things I can do

Jeff Mack

Book - 2013

A boy shows a book he has made about all of the things he can do for himself, from making his own lunch to fixing his own toys.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Mack Withdrawn
Stories in rhyme
Picture books
New York : Roaring Brook Press 2013.
Main Author
Jeff Mack (-)
1st ed
Item Description
"A Neal Porter Book."
Physical Description
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Jeff can do lots of things by himself: fix his lunch, mend his toys, brush his teeth, fly (almost). He can even write and illustrate his own picture-book autobiography. Mack throws everything he has into the perfect facsimile of a handmade-by-a-child book, complete with doodled crayon pictures, magazine collage, dinosaur stickers, and even a duct tape spine. The result is a messy metaconcoction with piles of charm. The rhyming-couplet text, outlining the events in Jeff's day, is suitably childlike, with playful predictability and deliberately questionable scansion. But the real draw is the boisterous, ridiculous imagery, both for its irresistible authenticity and its clever detail (don't miss the hand-crayoned Roaring Brook logo or the copy of this book on the final page's Popsicle-stick shelf). It's tempting to suggest that this will inspire young readers to create memoirs of their own, but that feels unnecessarily earnest. This one is all about the laughter.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In a big departure from his previous work, Mack (Good News, Bad News) has created one of the most tactile-looking picture books in recent memory. Purportedly the work of a round-headed kid named Jeff, it's a rhyming, crayon-scrawled, devil-may-care collage of all the things that make him an independent agent: "I can make my own lunch./ I can get my own drink./ I can take my own bath!/ Pretty cool don't you think?" In addition to the standard craft closet materials (construction paper, stickers, white glue, and tape-and lots of it), Jeff sees artistic potential in just about any scrap, including a used paper towel, crumpled paper (an especially effective stand-in for worn underwear), sticky notes (the ideal media for portraying his nonstop raconteurship), actual crayons and pencils, and chewed gum. There's considerable ingenuity at work and some effective audience pandering (one spread depicts green snot wiped on a sweater), and while the chaotic scenes won't be to every reader's taste, the messy free-for-all unmistakably channels Jeff's creative energy. Ages 5-8. Agent: East West Literary Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 1-Young Jeff has written a tongue-in-cheek book all by himself to show readers all the things he can do. His brief rhymed words, printed in his own hand in black crayon on a collection of colored and lined paper, indicate that he can fix his own lunch, bathe himself, brush his teeth, choose his clothes, brush his hair, tie his shoes, fix broken toys, and even fly. In addition, he's a storyteller who can "talk. and. talk and. talk" if he gets someone to "just listen." Children old enough to get the joke, however, will realize that Jeff's own crayon drawings and the cutout pictures he attaches to his book with big strips of tape provide a very different account of his accomplishments. His lunch is a hot dog, fries, and ice cream; there is more toothpaste on his face than on his teeth; the sweater he chooses is "perfect. for wiping [his] nose"; his underwear lands on his head instead of where it belongs; and his flying feats get him no farther than the couch. This book is best enjoyed one-on-one because there is much to laugh at and talk about, from Jeff's crazy hairdo, tangled laces, and other illustrations that belie his boasts to the globs of glue everywhere, and his final foiled attempt to reach the top shelf. Nancy Viau's Look What I Can Do! (Abrams, 2013) depicts the challenges and accomplishments of young children and animals as they acquire new skills.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

A direct address to the reader, in bold handwritten crayon -- "HI EVERYONE! WANT TO SEE WHAT I DREW?" -- sets this energetic romp in motion. Who wouldn't want to follow that long blue arm off the page? Young Jeff has made a book called The Things I Can Do, detailing his competencies in many areas. Using all sorts of materials, including construction paper, stickers, napkins, and magazine cutouts, Jeff celebrates his many achievements. He is proud that he can make his lunch, get his own drink, take his own bath, brush his teeth, and choose his clothing. Further, he can tell a story, comb his hair, tie his shoe, and even fix his toys. Young readers will have no trouble finding the laugh-out-loud humor in the illustrations, as Jeff's professed expertise and reality are two different things. The lunch consists of an ice-cream cone and French fries. Milk is spilled on the floor. A large amount of mucus covers his "perfect" sweater and drips out of his nose (gross!), allowing the reader to feel just a bit superior to Jeff and his self-professed talents. This is a funny, messy, energetic paean to the oversized ego of a confident, lovable preschooler. New readers, looking for a book they can read all by themselves, will soon have this one memorized and will be able to add "I can read a book" to their personal lists of what they can do. robin l. smith (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

With boundless energy and bouncing rhyme, a boy shows readers his handmade book--this book--about his burgeoning independence. From making his own lunch and getting his own drink (milk spills down the page), to bathing in the sink and fixing toys with a lake of glue, this boy's on a hilarious tear. Self-portraits race across the spreads, outlined in bold, black crayon. The boy's head and ears evoke Charlie Brown. He's always in motion, and every supply in the house seems to have been commandeered for this project. The multilayered, multimedia collage makes things look real enough to touch (and readers will try): pencils and Popsicle sticks, Legos and paper towels, circular confetti from a hole punch, construction paper and shiny paper and graph paper--and appearing most touchable of all, liberal amounts of cellophane tape, masking tape, duct tape and stickers. Bits of photo stand out amid the childlike art--the spray attachment on a faucet and the boy's teeth while he's brushing them (though not the rest of his face). "I can brush my own teeth. / I can pick out my clothes. // This sweater was perfect!!! / For wiping my nose." A drop of snot (plenty big enough to be seen from a distance) and the underwear on his head will be popular. Rowdy and infectious: Fetch tape and crayons. (Picture book. 4-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.