21
Sep
18

In the immortal words of Doug Judy, “So why don’t you just chill and eat some sexy-ass lobster?”** CBR10 Review 35.

Unknown-1Craig Robinson, truly a “man for all seasons,” continues to prove that he’s a national treasure with his debut children’s book, Jake the Fake.

Did you love Craig on The Office?

 

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Or in his recurring role as Doug Judy, the Pontiac Bandit, on Brooklyn 99?

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How about his annoying, and yet charming, commercials for Dodge?

Did you ever hear him sing Radiohead’s Creep (with an all-Office backup band. Creed!)?

And he was even great on Ghosted, which was really quite terrible.

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Long story short, Craig is great.

He used to be a school music teacher, and he uses that experience here in his debut graphic novel/middle grade story (similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but with more text). Craig (and his two co-writers/illustrators, Adam Mansbach and Keith Knight) introduce us to Jake, who is about to start middle school, and is scared to death.

Jake won’t be going to school with any of his friends, he’s going across town to the prestigious school for the arts that his amazingly talented sister goes to. Somehow, Jake got in after he played a song on the piano and sang for his audition…but it’s the only song Jake knows how to play and sing. He’s in a panic that the school is going to realize that he has no musical talent and that he’s a fake, and he’ll be kicked out.

Jake soon realizes that this new school isn’t what he expected, and that everyone has a talent, but they just might not realize it yet.

I’ll be honest, this book made me laugh out loud. The illustrations were ridiculous (if I were a 10 year old, I would probably think this was the most hilarious book of all time) and the jokes were smart.

This book has clearly been written as the first in a series of stories about Jake, and I look forward to reading what this crew puts out. The humor used here is a great way to let kids know that that the things they worry about are things that all kids worry about, no matter who they are.

Tagging for #cbr10bingo as #underrepresented. Jake and his family are African American, although it is never mentioned. Jake is a strong, funny, smart character, and his family is wonderful. His background shouldn’t — and doesn’t — matter, but I loved seeing him as a potential role model for all of the kids who pick up the Wimpy Kid or Big Nate books and think they are fun, but don’t quite connect with them.

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**and yes, maybe my review title isn’t 100% in line with a blurb about a book for kids, but dammit, I just love Doug Judy.


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