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Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants + Levi Strauss and Blue Jeans (Inventions and Discovery)
Price for both: $21.19

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152061452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152061456
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"By the second spread, with miners working in their long johns or, discreetly, "in the vanilla," listeners will be thoroughly hooked. The humor is broad and the language inventive, yet reminiscent of the times."--Kirkus Reviews  

"Johnston creates an unrepentantly exaggerated version of events that is sure to entertain, offering more factual information about Strauss in an author's note. Using a bright idea of his own, Innerst (Lincoln Tells a Joke) chronicles the raucous action in acrylic paintings on a canvas of, yes, old Levi's jeans. The denim's texture provides an appropriately rugged tone to the colorful proceedings."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

"An outlandish whopper of a tall tale, this story just begs to be read aloud with an old-timey Western accent. Johnston weaves together fact and fiction, resulting in a hilarious narrative about how Strauss became the denim king... A first choice for any collection, this book is worth its weight in denim–or gold."--School Library Journal, starred review

 

"Johnston antes up the readaloudability with traditional tall-tale banter and a bold-faced "Dang!" every time Strauss gets a brainstorm. Innerst extends the fun by painting the sartorially challenged miners on, what else, blue jeans, craftily leaving the blue untouched for jeans, tents, chalkboards, ocean, and bay, and letting flat-felled seams do double duty as the floor of a covered wagon or the roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge."-Bulletin

About the Author

TONY JOHNSTON's numerous books for children include It's About Dogs, illustrated by Ted Rand, Very Scary, illustrated by Douglas Florian, and The Day of the Dead, illustrated by Jeanette Winter. She lives with her family in California.


STACY INNERST is an acclaimed children's book illustrator and editorial artist. He lives in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Blow my socks off!
M. Heiss
I am now an author myself and so I greatly appreciate when an author can get to the essence of a person in a kid-friendly way within the 32 page picture book.
Carol Ekster
His illustrations are always inventive, creative, extremely well thought out and dang funny.
Tmodtom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol Ekster on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Tony Johnston did a terrific job of making a fun book for teachers to share with their upper elementary classes. I taught 4th grade for 35 years and used picture books consistently to support curriculum. In our reading anthology there was a story about the Gold Rush. I definitely would have read this well written book during that time of study. She uses some challenging vocabulary and other language concepts, including exaggeration, that can also be discussed with the students. I am now an author myself and so I greatly appreciate when an author can get to the essence of a person in a kid-friendly way within the 32 page picture book. Tony Johnston did a fabulous job of that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Author Tony Johnston, who has published more than 100 books for children, spins an old-fashioned tall tale based on the story of Levi Strauss and his "invention" of blue jeans in this new picture book. Filled with colorful Western-style language and illustrated with great humor by Stacy Innerst, this book would make a terrific addition to a gold rush unit at school or a discussion of tall tales.

The story begins with a hilarious close-up of a bearded miner with quite a few missing teeth yelling "gold!" as the gold rush began. But the miners' pants couldn't take the rough conditions of the gold field, and soon, according to this fanciful version, miners were working in their long johns, or "naked as a jaybird." Fortunately for the miners, Levi Strauss arrived in California too late for the gold, but was "slick with a needle and scissors." Soon Levi came up with some pants in which the miners "rushed, rushed, rushed" and no harm came to the pants! And in an alternative history, Levi Strauss even helps found the city of San Francisco--with barrels!

In an afterword, Johnston relates that the story of Levi Strauss and his invention of blue jeans is "mostly legend with threads of truth, which my version stretches to near popping." She provides some basic biographical facts on Levi Strauss, who while he may not have sewn any blue jeans, made them famous and became rich from manufacturing and selling them.

If you think you see the texture of blue jeans in the witty illustrations, you're right--illustrator Stacy Innerst painted directly on blue jeans to get just the right effect for this story. You can even see the seams of the jeans in many of the images. The stylized artwork, with its exaggerated facial expressions and earth tones, is a delightful fit for the tall tale aspect of this story. Teachers could easily cut up some old denim for kids to paint on, making this story a fun inspiration for a craft activity as well.
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By Christy Young on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach sewing at a Jr. High and I got this book to read to my classes. They loved it! And, this was a great way to bring sewing into my students daily lives because most of them ware Jeans/Levis everyday.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
History can be made fun. Who knew?
The story is one children can relate to, although they probably think FuBu invented denim.
Tony Johnston does a "dang" good job of telling a story that will interest even most adults
because they are not sure who FuBu is and he dang sure didn't invent denim.

I have been a fan of Stacy Innerst for over 40 years now.
How can that be? Believe me it is true.
His illustrations are always inventive, creative, extremely well thought out
and dang funny.
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