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Thursday, January 12, 2012

50 Underwear Questions: A Bare-All History - Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Ross Kinnaird

Released September 2011

Annick Press

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

50 Underwear Questions: A Bare-All History takes a look at underwear through the ages. While most children put on their underwear without a second thought, in times long past, underwear dictated your social status and served to protect extremities from the cold.

Perhaps one of the oldest recorded pairs of underwear dates back thousands of years. In the 1990s, the discovery of a 3,000-year-old body was found in ice. After careful removal, historians discovered that this man was wearing a loin cloth sewn from goat skin. Underwear of some fashion has also been found on mummies. These references are all detailed in 50 Underwear Questions. Each tidbit starts with a question regarding underwear and goes into detail about what is known historically.

Children will learn about underwear made from animal skin, hemp, burlap, nettles and other materials. They'll learn why men and women in medieval times did not bathe and how underwear was believed to be better than a bath. In general, there's a lot to learn reading this informative look at underwear through the ages. The reader examines petticoats, hoop skirts, bras and corsets. Each section includes a tag graphic called a "Private Part" that includes an additional trivia tidbit.

I learned a lot reading 50 Underwear Questions: A Bare-All History. I'm still not convinced that nettle underwear is something I'd ever want to wear, but it's interesting to read how the underwear served a dual purpose, including being a deterrent to flea problems. If you have a child or teen interested in fashion history, this is a must-read.

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