Friday, April 7, 2017

A day with cartoonist Keith Knight, the illustrator behind "Jake the Fake Keeps it Real"

Jake is a kid who gets into Music and Art Academy by playing the piano. There's only one problem. It turns out it's the only song he knows.

His sister Lisa is so talented she can make butteflies and candy fly out of her saxophone when she plays it. It turns out that Keith Knight confirms this is true. If you haven't seen this happen, it means that the saxophonist in question isn't as good as Lisa. Even if it's Kenny G.

Jake the Fake Keeps it Real is a new book written by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, based on Robinson's childhood. Did you know he was a musician before he broke out as a comedian and actor in The Office and Hot Tub Time Machine? The illustrator is Keith Knight, whose work is inspired by Charles M. Schulz, Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson, and Chuck Jones. So you can imagine that when Crown Books for Your Readers asked if we wanted to host Mr. Knight for a day of school visits, I jumped at the chance and offered to do the school visits myself.

Aside: in our office hangs a poster of the Chuck Jones exhibition at the Circle Gallery in New York. It was given to me when I worked at Warner Books in New York and has followed me to every job. While I can't say I have every cartoon memorized, I have been a huge cartoon and animation fan for much of my life. Knight noticed this when he was at the store, but probably didn't know it was mine. Now he knows!

Knight's day began at Morning Blend on TMJ4. You can watch his interview here.

Knight visited two schools. If you are an educator and want to know more about our authors-in-schools programs, contact Todd.

In between schools, Mr. Knight spotted a Little Free Library. He placed his book there for borrowing.

Knight then spoke to Mitch Teich at Lake Effect. We'll post that interview when it airs.

And then Knight did a public event at Boswell, cosponsored by 4Core. They did a great job at getting out kids, and we also had a number of adults who followed Knight's work as a cartoonist, having created three strips - the Knight Life, (th)ink, and the K Chronicles. He has was named a 2015 History Maker by the NAACP. Read his bio here.

Why have signed copies of Jake the Fake at Boswell.

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