The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring by Gilbert Ford
The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation

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

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.

With the help of his wife, Betty, Richard 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 one of the most popular toys in American history.

About Gilbert Ford

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Gilbert Ford holds a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has illustrated many middle grade jacket covers and the award-winning picture book Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Visit him online at
Published September 13, 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring

K-Gr 2—The history of an iconic toy is shared in this delightful title from award-winning illustrator Ford. Authoring his first nonfiction picture book, Ford introduces his readers to naval engineer Richard James and his wife, Betty James. Always a dreamer, Richard James watches in wonder one day...

Jul 01 2016 | Read Full Review of The Marvelous Thing That Came...