The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring

The Accidental Invention
of the Toy That 
Swept the Nation

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
(Simon & Schuster)
(pub. 9.1.2016)
40 pages

A True Tale with
A Cherry On Top  

uthor: Gilbert Ford
      and photographer: Greg Endries

C haracter: Richard and Betty James

 verview from the jacket flap: 

"One day a spring fell from the desk of Richard James, an engineer and a dreamer. Its coils took a walk ... and so did Richard's imagination. He knew right away that he had stumbled onto something marvelous.

Richard and his wife, Betty, took this ordinary spring and turned it into a plaything. But it wasn't just any old trinket - it was a Slinky, and it would become on of the most popular toys in American history.

With magnificent dioramic illustrations, Gilbert Ford captures the joy, creativity, and determination behind the invention of an iconic, one-of-a-kind toy."    

T antalizing taste: 
    "Betty thumbed through a dictionary for two days, underlining words. 
     Nothing sounded quite right ... until she found 'slinky' meaning 'graceful' and 'curvy in movement.' 'Slinky' also sounded like the swish and clink of the spring's coils in motion.
     It was only a name, but it was just right. With one word, Betty thought she could transform this spring into a one-of-a-kind thing!"

and something more: The Note at the back of the book provides interesting stories of other uses of the Slinky over time: "The Slinky was used as an antenna for radios during the Vietnam War, as a device for understanding wave mechanics, and as a therapy tool for patients who had suffered from strokes or other disorders. It was launched into space on the shuttle Discovery to help astronauts demonstrate how gravity worked. And the clinking coils of the Slinky even inspired a musician, John Cage, to create experimental music based on the sound!"


Beth said...

A slinky in your stocking is a traditional Xmas present in my family. I'll have to look up this book.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Beth, What a great tradition. Maybe you can slip a copy of this book into the stockings next year :) Thanks for stopping by!