“The Fast and the Furriest”: from idea to reality


Currently available on Amazon, Dr. Allan Knight and his daughter, Austin Knight’s, story book focuses on two squirrels who race cars in a lovable, youthful twist on the well-known series “Fast and Furious.” “The book is important to me because it was a fun project that I got to do with my daughter that gave us a unique time to bond with each other,” Knight said.

Makayla Martindale, Editor-in-Chief

Fables—an integral aspect of childhood—have long remained the same. Whether it was reading The Tortoise and the Hare in Kindergarten and learning that “slow and steady wins the race” or hearing the story of Little Red Riding Hood and being taught not to trust strangers, all are focused on providing young children with life lessons in an entertaining manner and allowing them to develop strong morals. Though many fables are considered classic literature, authors have attempted to use the lessons taught through fables and create modern twists to interest young children now.

Journalism teacher Dr. Allan Knight and his daughter worked together to write and illustrate a short story titled “The Fast and the Furriest.” The book has a similar structure to many of Aesop’s Fables, yet utilizes a more youthful version of the plot found in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. 

“My daughter and I came up with the idea after watching the “Fast and Furious” movies,” Knight said. “We thought ‘what if we did the same thing with squirrels?,” which prompted us to make a children’s book about adorable squirrels who race cars.”

Although the process of creating the book was long and arduous, being able to work together to make the storyline and design the book made it entirely worth it.

“Austin and I shared in the entire production of the book,” Knight said. “We wrote the manuscript together. We drew up the story boards. We designed the characters and the cars. It was really rewarding to be able to spend such valuable time with my daughter. Our relationship, which has always been strong, was really able to blossom as we saw what was once merely an idea become reality.”

When the idea to produce “The Fast and the Furriest” began, the outcome of the story was unknown by both Knight and his daughter, as they were unsure of how to execute sharing their story with the world.

“We came up with the idea when I was about five,” junior Austin Knight said. “We originally wanted to make a movie about it after seeing squirrels in the park and watching the ‘Fast and Furious’ movies. This was a super special thing for my dad and I to accomplish because it was the first time I saw my idea from my childhood made into reality after talking about it for years.”

Looking to the future, Knight aims to extend the book into a series, once again featuring the main character Pip and her adventures. 

“This project we felt we needed to follow through all the way to the end, as it has been a few years in the making,” Knight said. “We plan to make a series out of the book and in the next episode of the book, Pip will run into a couple of wild and reckless troublemaking brothers, Crash and Bash.”

Interesting, yet educational books are a staple in many early childhood classes, as they are able to provide the children with proper guidance and lessons that will stick with them throughout their entire lives.

“A lot of times, we base our lesson plans around a short story for the preschoolers in Early Childhood,” senior Mayson Cooney said. “It is the best way to make sure that they are actually learning, while keeping their attention for a longer period of time. It is really cool that Dr. Knight was able to create a book that has a good storyline and interesting characters that focuses on younger children’s interest.”

As with any children’s story, the plot is significantly deeper than racing squirrels, as the father-daughter pair looked to change young kids’ outlook on life. 

“The message we wanted to portray is that kindness is the most important thing,” Knight said. “Being good and kind to all around you will make yourself happy and the world a better place, which is what we primarily want those who read our story to learn.”