This hilarious contemporary tall tale describes how Levi Strauss went to California during the Gold Rush and became the king of jeans. Tony Johnston captures perfectly the hyperbolic storytelling of the genre, complete with references to miners working in long johns, the Great Pants Rush, and Strauss building the city of San Francisco. A historical note in the back of the book lets readers separate the facts about Strauss’ life from Johnston’s fiction. Stacy Innerst painted the creative illustrations on jeans using the seams, pockets and other structural elements as details in the pictures. They are an ideal accompaniment to Johnston’s text. Note that there is no mention of Levi Strauss being Jewish. Highly recommended for ages 5 – 10.
Marci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the University of Maryland, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in English Literature from Fordham University. She has worked in synagogue and day school libraries and is currently finishing her term on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.