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In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up…
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In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up (Great Idea Series)

by Monica Kulling

Other authors: David Parkins (Illustrator)

Series: Great Idea Series (3)

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This was a good biography for kids. The other book about Margaret Knight called Marvelous Mattie is probably a little better for information, but for a reader that just is being introduced to the person, Margaret Knight, this is light and it covers the major accomplishments of her life and the illustrations are very inviting. I like the illustrations in here a lot and for most anyone, I would assume Margaret Knight is not a familiar name, so this would gave them a clue. Nicely done. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
In the bag: Margaret Knight wraps it up by Monica Kulling, illustrated by David Parkins

The Text: Simple paragraphs and brisk, cheerful dialogue tell the story of Mattie Knight, from her work in factories as a young girl to her first invention and successful court defense of her patent. After her family fell on hard times, Margaret Knight worked in a mill with her siblings. But she stuck to her love of machinery and invented devices to make the factory safer. She continued to work on her inventions until she created her first patented machine, which folded and glued paper bags. A man at the machine shop where she took her invention to have a model made tried to steal it, but she successfully defended her patent in court.

The Illustrations: Parkins’ illustrations are cheerful caricatures, showing long-nosed faces, historical clothing, and Mattie’s determination and struggles to pursue her career. The illustrations focus on people and characters and their reaction to and relationships with Knight. Knight’s clothing, often in bright reds and blues, stands out against the gray and brown-hued world around her.

The Extras: A brief note adds more information about Margaret Knight’s life and patents.

Verdict: A lively and interesting story, but sadly lacking in sources or further information. Did the author fictionalize the exchanges between Mattie and her contemporaries? Or are these actual quotes? There’s no way of knowing. An additional purchase if you need a lot of inventor biographies.

ISBN: 978-1770492394; Published October 2011 by Tundra; Review copy provided by publisher
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 15, 2012 |
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. ( )
  ElizaJane | Nov 22, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Monica Kullingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Parkins, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Recounts the life of Margaret Knight, eventual holder of twenty patents, who fought discrimination and proved that she was just as intelligent an inventor as a man.

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Tundra Books

An edition of this book was published by Tundra Books.

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