Wednesday, February 22, 2012

READ-4-LUCK: Hilarious "Biography"

READ-4-LUCK is the weekly feature that acts as a book recommendation, book review, teaching tip, and writing lesson for children, parents, teachers, and writers.

 = Not bad. Might read twice.

 = Fun read first few times. Would get from library again.
 = Very enjoyable. Wouldn't mind owning a copy.
 = Awesome! Never tiresome for children, parents, teachers, or writers. May just have to buy this book.

This week's pick is Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Stacy Innerst
In tall-tale fashion, this book retells how Levi Strauss went to California during the Gold Rush, saw the need for a sturdier kind of trouser, and invented jeans.
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
Year: 2011
Word Count: 1098
Book Level: 3.9
Age: 4-8
Topic: History, Biography, Inventions
Theme: Humor, Tall-tales, Solving Problems
First Page
     "Gold!" somebody yelled. Next thing anybody knew, the whole world rushed to California and started digging up the place. The trouble was, they rushed so fast, they lost their pants.
CHILDREN:  This book is so much fun. The pictures are quite funny, too. Kids get a big kick out of seeing grown men walking around wearing nothing but a big barrell.

PARENTS:  This has got to be the funniest picture book I have ever read. I was laughing so much, my son said, "Mom! Quit laughing! Slow down. Now what did that part say again?" If you don't like the word "DANG!" then maybe you won't want this one. But it's still just so much fun!

 Perfect for integrating into a tall tale unit. Or a Social Studies unit on the Gold Rush, or clothing, or the West. What fun you can have! The author's note in the back also gives the real deal on what went down. Very interesting - good for 5th graders to see that history can give ideas for great stories.

 Another PB full of voice. I SO wish I had written this book! A great book to study. Think of all the fodder we have to write about...the world is FULL of history! All I can say is WHAT FUN! I can't wait to map this one out!

Be sure to visit other "perfect picture books" at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Okay, you've convinced me. I MUST check this book out!

  2. Same here! Cheers :)

  3. This sounds funny. I'm not a fan of the company after my community was crushed when they decided to make the jeans "an American brand," not made in the U.S. Sounds like a funny book. I'll see if my library has a copy.

  4. Hello! Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I love PB biography/historical fiction. I live in California, and I can't believe I haven't heard of this one. I love PPF for introducing me to so many lovely books.

  6. I've never heard of this book but it sounds fantastic - interesting and funny! I will have to check it out!

  7. I have heard of this, but haven't read it, but I do love me a good tall tale! Now it comes with such a warm recommendation, I really DO want to read it.

  8. Have never heard of this book and want to read it. I lost historical biographies. It sounds very funny. Grreat choice for this week.

  9. This one sounds very funny! I love books that make us all laugh.

  10. "they rushed so fast, they lost their pants?" I'm in.

  11. This sounds like such fun! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I love when picture books incorporate historical facts and biography...young children get a taste of the past and have lots of fun while doing it. :)
    This looks like a hilarious book...I will definitely look for a copy. And the resource and activity suggestions are great! Thanks for a wonderful review, Christie!

  13. Looks like a great book. I love the cover!

  14. Just requested this one from my library. Can't wait to read it! Thanks for sharing on PPBF!

  15. I can't wait to read this. It sounds like a great book! Thanks for adding it to the list. :)


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