Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions

Don Wulffson; Illustrated by Laurie Keller

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)




A fresh, intriguing look at the stories behind great toy inventions.

"Originally, Play-Doh only came in white. There's a good reason for this. You see, Play-Doh didn't start out as a toy. It started out as a product for cleaning wallpaper."

Have you ever wondered who invented Lego, Mr. Potato Head, or toy trains? Here are the fascinating stories behind these toy inventions and many others. Learn why the see-saw was popular with the Romans, how the Slinky was used during the Vietnam War, and the reason Raggedy Ann has a red heart on her chest that says "I love you." From dolls and checkers to pinball and the modern video game, there's a wide selection here for boys and girls alike.

With humor and wit, this intriguing book serves up slices of cultural history that will inspire young readers to start thinking up their own toy inventions.



It was a mistake. A goof-up. An invention that didn't work. A flop; that's what the Slinky was, at least in the beginning.

In 1945, an engineer by the name of Richard James was hard at work in a Philadelphia shipyard....


Praise for Toys!

“Lighthearted text and humorous drawings convey amusement and appreciation for these inspired creations.” —Sue Corbett, Knight Ridder Newspapers

“An interesting read for anybody who appreciates the inventive mind and entrepreneurial spirit.” —Sue Corbett, Knight Ridder Newspapers

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Don Wulffson; Illustrated by Laurie Keller

Don Wulffson is the author of many books for young readers including The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle and Other Strange Inventions. A teacher of English and creative writing, Mr. Wulffson is the recipient of the Leather Medal Award for Poetry. He lives with his family in Northridge, California.

Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, The Scrambled States of America, and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, among numerous other books for children. She earned a B.F.A. at Kendall College of Art and Design. She lives in Michigan, in a little cottage in the woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Don Wulffson

Don Wulffson

Laurie Keller

From the Publisher

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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