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"While just the idea of underwear will produce giggles in some story time crowds, this book is playing for laughs while conveying historical facts." —School Library Journal
"Van Zandt chronicles tushie-wear from the 'beginning of buns' onward, pulling up garments such as the Maori maro and the sumo wrestlers' mawashi for closer examination as she sniffs at medieval and modern European undergarments and sanitary practices up to the modern (1935) Y-front undy." —Booklist
"Does your child show curiosity about underwear? It is a piece of clothing that is part of everyday life but can sometimes be taboo to talk about. A Brief History of Underpants by Christine Van Zandt breaks down this barrier with a book on the history of underwear from all over the world. It exposes kids to different cultures and customs by observing the evolution of fashion’s most unmentionable garment. The illustrations by Harry Briggs bring this to life, providing exciting visuals on what the different types of underwear looked like and how they were worn. It’s part history and part humor, giving a new way to learn about innovations around the globe. This book also includes fun activities like how to make a fundoshi, underwear worn by Japanese sumo wrestlers, which brings an interactive take to underpants history." —LA Parent magazine, 6/15/21
“Not only will this be a looked-forward-to nonfiction read for kids, but teachers and librarians can welcome the heightened interest this most delightful delve into a fashion staple provides.” —Good Reads with Ronna, 8/5/21
"I laughed my butt off! Not only is this book funny, but Christine Van Zandt delivers a veritable wedgie-whirlwind of utterly fascinating underwear info!"
A fast-paced, low word count book for ages 4-8, ideal for reluctant readers
Learn about underwear from the first fossilized pair until today
Facts from all seven continents
Archaeological finds contributed to the history of underpants and the Industrial Revolution changed how underwear was made with its engineering inventions, technological advances, and innovations using textiles or other materials
Learn how to make a fundoshi--the Japanese loincloth worn by samurai
Once the giggles end, talk about it:
- In the book, name three different ways underwear was used.
(Hint: spiky plants, green parrot/plain woodhen skins, and Gandhi.)
- How have underpants changed over the years?
- How have underpants remained the same?
- What roles did inventions play?
- Have our reasons for wearing underwear changed?
- Are today's underpants better for us? Are they better for our planet?
- How can we study history if it keeps changing?
Why does a pirate wear underpants? Click on the trailer to find out!
The Reveal Wheel spins to display four different styles of undies.
June 21, 2022
Interview with VoyageLA, "Meet Christine Van Zandt"
Bay Area Book Festival in-person presentation, Berkeley, California, "Laugh and Learn with the Author of A Brief History of Underpants"
A Brief History of Underpants received an Honorable Mention award at the Los Angeles Book Festival
January 19, 2022
Lesson plan for teachers and educators on Rochelle Melander’s The Mighty Writers, “Teaching A Brief History of Underpants”
January 15, 2022
Interview by Tina for The Wonder of Words blog, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Underwear and More!”
January 9, 2022
Best of 2021 Kid’s Books by Cybils Awards, “#CybilsAwards Book Lists: The Ones That Got Away.”
December 17, 2021
Interview by Sylvia Liu for KidLit411, “Author Spotlight: Christine Van Zandt.” http://www.kidlit411.com/2021/12/author-spotlight-christine-van-zandt.html
December 9, 2021
Interactive online event, #PBChat with Justin Colon (@PBchat1), #PBchat, https://twitter.com/PBChat1.
November 15, 2021
Interview by Darlene Beck-Jacobson, “Author Christine Van Zandt Presents: A Brief History of Underpants + a Giveaway . . . of a Signed Copy, Not Underpants!”
November 10, 2021
Lesson plan for teachers and educators using A Brief History of Underpants in now available on Patricia Newman’s LitLinks, “Underpants Exposed: Exciting Activities About Covering Our Buns”
A Brief History of Underpants is now available in Korean! CLICK HERE for more info on where to buy the Korean-language version.
"Meet Christine Van Zandt, Literary Editor and Writer,” interview by Mike Bhand at ShoutoutLA. Christine talks about work-life balance and how it has evolved over time.
Skylight Books Treehouse along with the Los Angeles Public Library and the Punk Rock Marthas present “Christine Van Zandt, author of A Brief History of Underpants,” an online Crowdcast interactive event
“Mentor Talk with Christine Van Zandt” on the Reading for Research More (ReFoReMo) site with Kirsti Call
“Happy Book Birthday to A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS + 10 Qs for Christine Van Zandt + a #Giveaway” with interview by Erin Dealey
Picture book recommendations by Charlotte Offsay, Instagram blogger
“Interview with Nonfiction Picture Book Author Christine Van Zandt” by Farrha Khan for SCBWI LA’s Kite Tales blog.
My #ChatWithThePBLady interview was "brief," fun, and now the world knows my "must-have" hamburger topping! Interview by Jennifer Pease.
Undies for Everyone Service Project & Author Visit with grades K-5, ~1,300 students. Because underwear is an overlooked item donated to kids, this service project between the nonprofit Undies for Everyone, West University Elementary in Houston, and Christine Van Zandt hopes to boost awareness and generate donations for kids in need. For $10, West U families can buy a signed copy of Christine's book, A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS, and $5 will be donated to Undies for Everyone. Anyone can donate undies. More info at https://www.westupto.org/undies.
“The Picture Book Buzz – April Interviews with STEAM Team Book Members,” interview by Maria Marshall
Podcast for Quarto Kids Cast via Anchor by Spotify
“The Backstory: A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS,” interview by Andrew Hacket
“Meet the Author: Christine Van Zandt” interview by Quarto Kids, Quarto Knows
“Birth Stories for Books: A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS, by Christine Van Zandt” interview by Dawn Babb Prochovnic
Virtual in-school presentations at Alta California Elementary School (grades K-5, ~700 students) for Literacy Week.
“Storystorm 2021 Day 12: Christine Van Zandt Reveals What’s Behind her Underpants Book” behind-the-scenes info for Tara Lazar’s annual picture book idea brainstorming event
“It’s Time for an UNcover Reveal!” cover-reveal interview by Ronna Mandel on Good Reads with Ronna
"How We Snagged Our Book Deals: Pitch Events" interview by S.K. Wenger on Twenty-One for the Books
"21 for the Books Talks Debut Year Goals" interview by Amanda Smith on 24 Carrot Writing
"12 Months of Books Challenge: Bring Books to Kids All Year Long" blog feature by children's book author Tamara Girardi
Interactive and fun, catered to your classroom or event
Socially distanced story times, book signings, and more
Want a word search for your class? Just ask!