University Press of Mississippi
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In December of 2019, I came across a copy of a children's book called Just Only John in a small town thrift store. I loved the illustrations, and heard a distant bell of remembrance at the name of the author/illustrator, Jack Kent. When I got home I began looking into Jack's career, and discovered that in addition to creating kids' books, he had also been a newspaper and magazine cartoonist. And I realized that I had not only used a book he illustrated - I Was Walking Down the Road - as a Reading Recovery teacher, I had also encountered his work ("A MAD Look at Sex Education in the Schools") at age 12 in a MAD Magazine special. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020 I found myself at loose ends, and began researching Jack's life and work. What I discovered is the story of a natural-born cartoonist who harnessed his powers to tell stories that were funny, absurd, heartfelt, and wise.