In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
  • In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
  • In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

by Monica Kulling, David Parkins
     
 

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Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by… See more details below

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Overview

Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions.

Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Third in the Great Idea series, this concise introduction to trailblazing American inventor Margaret “Mattie” Knight (1838–1914), 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; after witnessing a colleague’s injury while working in a cotton mill at age 12, Knight devised a safety mechanism that gained widespread use. Paired with Parkins’s detailed and handsome pen-and-ink illustrations, the book focuses on Knight’s invention of a paper bag–manufacturing machine and her legal fight to protect her creation after her idea was stolen. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Margaret Knight, known as Mattie, grew up at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Her father died when she was three-years-old. As did many children of that time, when she was twelve-years-old Mattie went to work at a textile mill. By then she had already invented a number of items, including kites and sleds. A mill accident sent Mattie to the drawing board to invent a safety device for looms. Her major achievement, however, was the invention of a machine that created square-bottom paper bags. Here is the story of her invention and court case to receive the patent. Kulling keeps her text lively. Her carefully chosen words make this an accessible first biography for primary grade children. It is also a good book to keep in mind for older readers who are learning to read. Full page illustrations provide details of time and place as well as clues for the text. The full-color cartoon style engages the reader with marvelous facial expressions. Interesting information about child labor, nineteenth century mills and factories, patents, and attitudes toward girls and women of the era are all seamlessly woven into the text. One of the titles Kulling cites in her Sources of Information list is Marvelous Mattie by Emily Arnold McCully (2006). The McCully book includes more of Margaret's inventions and two of her patent drawings and is an excellent introduction to this inventor. The Kulling book includes dates and is written in a simpler style for the emerging reader. Both deserve a place on the shelf. The story of a woman who had over ninety inventions and twenty patents in her lifetime is a welcome addition to the interesting "Great Idea Series." Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—This portrait of Knight chronicles her process in inventing the machine that made the flat-bottomed paper bag and, at the age of 12, the shuttle cover for cotton-mill machinery. The narration is clear and well paced, bringing to light the trouble facing female inventors in the 1800s. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations depict people realistically in a style that brings to mind a less-whimsical Marla Frazee. However, there is too much fictionalizing for the book to work as a biography. Knight's feelings, as well as dialogue and even incidents, are represented so frequently that the book feels more like fiction than fact. While this title could work for a thematic unit, perhaps on groundbreaking women or inventors, it is an additional purchase.—Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
From the Publisher
Praise for In the Bag!

"...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, the book focuses on Knight's invention of a paper bag-manufacturing machine and her legal fight to protect her creation after her idea was stolen." - Publishers Weekly

"...a delightful picture book biography of a little known inspiring woman.... I love stories about smart and determined young women and 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.... Don't miss this really excellent book that opens the door to a multitude of curricular uses." - Bookends, a Booklist Blog

"This is the wonderful story of an early female inventor. Margaret Knight began inventing at the age of 12, when she was working in a cotton mill and created a device that made looms safer. But her most famous invention is one we're all familiar with - she created a machine that made flat-bottomed paper bags." - Ten Great Science Books for Kids, Smithsonia.com

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770492394
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Series:
Tundra Great Idea Series
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
959,667
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
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.”
—Booklist

“[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

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