Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fair­ly Fab­ri­cat­ed Sto­ry of a Pair of Pants

Tony John­ston; Sta­cy Innerst, illus.
  • Review
By – April 24, 2012
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.

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