A Review of "Before the Store" in Booklist
The Before the Store series seeks to prove that something as unremarkable as a comfortable pair of blue jeans can have a very complex provenance. Using a combination of full-color photographs, illustrations, and simple text, this volume explains the origins of basic denim pants, from cotton growing in a sunny field through its harvest and ginning to the textile mill and into the store. A numbered ‘Blue Jeans Map’ includes a simple photo and description of each step of the production process. A glossary clarifies technical terms, and a list of websites for further research is included. While the book does not mention other ramifications of the manufacture of blue jeans, such as international labor issues or the environmental impact of the dying process, it does provoke a certain amount of thought about everyday objects and may lead kids to wonder about the origins of many other seemingly prosaic items close at hand.