If you’re anything like me, you love jeans—whether it’s a dressy pair for hitting the town or acomfy pair for hitting the couch. And when you think of jeans, the name Levi’s comes to mind. So what better book to share with the little ones in our lives than a silly story about Levi Strauss and the invention of our favorite pants?
Author Tony Johnston lives in Levi’s, calling them her “blue skin.” The bright idea for LEVI STRAUSS GETS A BRIGHT IDEA—her take on the invention of jeans—came from a verse she once wrote: “They were tents for gold-struck geezers/Until Strauss picked up his scissors.”
As a lifelong wearer of jeans, Stacy Innerst knew he had to illustrate this book as soon as he read the text. He had a bright idea of his own when he decided to paint the pictures on old pairs of Levi’s. The result of his collaboration with Tony is a Wild West tall tale that celebrates creativity, innovation, and the ubiquitous item that fills the closets of grateful jeans wearers worldwide.
In an author note in the back of the book, Tony explains that LEVI STRAUSS GETS A BRIGHT IDEA is “mostly legend with treads of truth, which my version stretches to near popping.” It’s atall tale kids will get a true kick out of—and it may even inspire them to go out and learn about the Wild West, the Gold Rush, and the history of their favorite fabric.
My Take on the Book
Before I write a review of the text, as you read this book ,I want you to look closely at the illustrations which were created by Stacy Innerst. The illustrations were painted on old Levi jean material. Quite amazing!
The gold rush in California began in 1848. Levi Strauss headed from New York to California but missed the gold rush. His interest turned to selling supplies to the miners.
Levi found that most of the miners did not have sturdy pants to wear and finding a pair to replace the ones that were falling apart was rare, especially pants that were durable.
Levi had brought tents with him to California . His brilliant idea came about because of the sturdy tent material. He decided to make durable pants out of the tent material. They were gladly accepted by the miners. Since the pants were in such high demand, Levi wrote to his brothers that he needed their help to sew pants . His brothers traveled to California and thus the Levi Strauss jeans company was formed and prospered.
In real life, Levi Strauss came from Germany to the United States in 1847. He arrived in California in 1853. He decided he could make money selling supplies to the miners. His brothers, who lived back East, sent him things to sell.
No one knows for sure who made the pants Levi sold, but he made them famous. They eventually applied for and received a patent for the jeans. In 1873, Levi Strauss jeans, as we know them today, were born.
Levi was a very generous man. He used much of his profits from selling the jeans for charity work and supporting education in the San Francisco area. He died in 1902.
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