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In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up Hardcover – Oct 11 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (Oct. 11 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770492399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770492394
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 0.8 x 26.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #484,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Shortlist - Governor General's Award - Children's Literature Illustration (2012)
“Third in the Great Idea series, this concise introduction to trailblazing American inventor … reveals a woman committed to living life on her own terms, unafraid to fight for her successes. In clean, straightforward prose, Kulling explains how Knight’s interest in and knack for machines was present even at a young age…. Paired with Parkins’s detailed and handsome pen-and-ink illustrations….”
Publishers Weekly

“…Kulling provides the reader with a complete chronicle of Margaret Knight's life…. Kulling's In The Bag! is a book that will give young girls the courage to be who they are and know that they never need to apologize for it.”
—Recommended, CM Magazine

“In this fascinating picture book biography…. Young readers will be delighted to see how Margaret triumphs over those who are eager to discredit her.”
—Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews
“Women inventors have always received far less attention than men. This picture-book biography in the Great Ideas series focuses upon Margaret Knight, inventor of a machine for making flat-bottomed paper bags, a topic that should grab the attention of both girls and boys if for no other reason than the quirky invention itself…. Knight’s achievements are illustrated in an affable caricature style … highlighting Margaret’s spunk and determination.”

“[In The Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up] … is a delightful picture book biography of a little known inspiring woman…. Kulling’s lively text tells an inspiring story about this determined woman who ‘never gave up without a fight.’ David Parkins’ charming illustrations are filled with carefully drawn period details and engaging humor. Each page turn reveals at least one full-page illustration in authentic-feeling sepia tones…. Don’t miss this really excellent book that opens the door to a multitude of curricular uses.”
–Bookends, a BooklistBlog

About the Author

Monica Kulling was born in Vancouver, BC and received a BA in creative writing from the University of Victoria. She has published over 30 books for children, including picture books, adaptations of classic novels, movie tie-ins, and biographies. Known for introducing biography to young children, Monica has written about, among others, Harriet Tubman, Houdini, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Amelia Earhart. Monica’s first book for Tundra, It’s A Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph, was voted an OLA 2009 “Best Bets” selection. It is nominated for a 2011 Silver Birch Award. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto.

Tundra’s David Parkins is the award-winning illustrator of over fifty children’s books. He began his career at Dyfed College of Art in Wales, studying wildlife illustration. He then went to Lincoln College of Art for three years, and has been a freelance illustrator since his graduation in 1979. He spent several years at the beginning of his career producing illustrations for educational publishers, and has earned most of his keep drawing for the British cartoon, The Beano. David Parkins lives near Lansdowne, Ontario.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: I enjoy Monica Kulling's children's biographies.

Another delightful entry in the Great Ideas series! This time Kulling brings us an inventor probably not known to many people, certainly I'd never heard of her before. Margaret Knight was prolific with her inventions and patents throughout her life but her most famous achievement was in the paper bag industry. While she did not invent the flat-based paper bag she did invent the machine that made it possible to mass produce them instead of having each one individually hand produced. Margaret Knight is an interesting woman of the late 1800s, who went against the lot cast for woman of the time period. While she felt her life had been hampered because she was a woman she managed to rise above the attitudes of the day and achieve so much as a woman inventor.

A great, interesting little story. I loved being introduced to this lesser known inventor and David Parkins illustrations are incredibly detailed with great facial expressions that nicely show the time period, being somewhat reminiscent of Rockwell. Must have for libraries.
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Format: Hardcover
In the Bag: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up is the newest release in Tundra's Great Idea Series. It is the biography of Margaret (Mattie) Knight who in 1873 became the first woman awarded a patent in the US.

As in All Aboard! Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine and It's a Snap! George Eastman's First Photograph, Monica Kulling engages young readers by introducing them to the titular character as a child. Mattie is twelve when she designs her first invention, a safety feature later installed on all looms.

While the books in this series may have historically relevant stories to impart, they hold a greater significance too. Knight, McCoy and Eastman each had many hardships to overcome before their work was completed and recognized. Of course, a woman in Knight's time was not expected to know anything about machines and, confident in this belief, Charles Annon registered Knight's original design for a flat-bottomed bag machine as his own. Knight stood up, fought him in court and won, proving herself not only an ingenious inventor, but a worthy role model as well.

In the illustrations for this book, David Parkins finds a terrific balance, picking up on the atmosphere Bill Slavin brought to the earlier books, but infusing this volume with his own touches. A full-colour Knight, with her wild and wiry red hair, leaps off backgrounds of muted factory workers.

With its subtle humour and depth of content, In the Bag! has much to offer to kids in Grades 1 through 3.
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Format: Hardcover
It was with real anticipation that I cracked open my copy of Monica Kulling's and David Parkins' newest book, "In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up". As the illustrator of Monica's two previous books in Tundra's Great Idea Series, I was curious to see where this pairing of talents had taken things.

My expectations were certainly well rewarded! Monica's crisp prose and snappy dialogue tell the tale of Margaret Knight, Victorian inventor. Through what can only be described as literary non-fiction for the very young, Monica introduces us to the life of this remarkable woman, starting with her as a young girl working in a factory and touching on a few key moments in her lifetime of inventing. She builds towards the dramatic moment when Margaret Knight asserts herself as a bona fide inventor at a time when inventing was not seen as a proper pursuit for a woman.

As in her previous book in the series, "All Aboard! Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine," Kulling's unlikely hero's success is not so much her invention, the paper bag, as her ability to rise above the mores of the time and succeed in a world where the odds are stacked against her. Knight's determination, entrepreneurism and sheer verve carry her through to success and serve as a beacon of inspiration for any young reader who desires to leave their mark on this world.

David Parkins masterful illustrations in pen and ink and watercolour bring Margaret Knight's story to life. As a huge fan of his work, I was not surprised to see that he tackled the subject matter with authority and humour, bringing a wealth of Victorian era minutiae to each and every page with drawings that are deceptively clean and straight forward, yet represent a mastery of his craft that few illustrators can emulate.

A terrific book, in content, writing and illustration "In the Bag!" will be a real boon to any classroom or fledgeling inventor's bookshelf.
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