Jaco Jacobs was born in the Karoo town of Carnarvon. He started writing at a young age and sold his first short stories to magazines while in high school. To date, he has published more than 100 books for children, ranging from picture books to books for young adults, some of them under the pseudonyms Lize Roux and Tania Brink. In 2007, his young adult novel Suurlemoen! (“Lemon!“) was chosen as an IBBY Honour Book, and his collection of children’s poetry, Wurms met tamatiesous en ander lawwe rympies (Worms In Tomato Sauce and Other Silly Poems), was awarded the Alba Bouwer Prize for Children’s Literature (2007) and the C.P. Hoogenhout Award (2006–2007). A film adaptation of Suurlemoen! was released in South African cinemas in 2014.
In addition to children’s literature, he also writes magazine articles and columns, and he has translated more than 250 books from English to Afrikaans. His translation of Chris Riddell’s Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (Willemien en die Geel Kat) was awarded the Elsabe Steenberg Prize for children’s book translation, as well as the SATI Prize for the translation of children’s books.