Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea
A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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Wild West chaos and creative problem solving are the force behind a well-loved American institution.What’s a California miner to do when gold dust sifts right out of his holey pockets? With such a raggedy wardrobe, he may as well be mining in the vanilla (that is, his birthday suit)! Good thing Levi Strauss is out west, ready with his needle and a head full of bright ideas. With some quick thinking, quicker stitching, and handy arithmetic, Levi keeps all the gold rushers clothed—and becomes a modern American hero. A Wild West tall tale, Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea celebrates creativity, innovation, and the ubiquitous item that fills the closets of grateful jeans wearers worldwide.
Tony Johnston's many acclaimed picture books include My Abuelita, a Pura Belpré Honor Book, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, and The Worm Family, illustrated by Stacy Innerst.
Stacy Innerst is an award-winning editorial artist and the illustrator of several picture books, including Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer's Lincoln Tells a Joke and Krull's M is for Music. www.stacyinnerst.com
"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