Read Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions by Don L. Wulffson Laurie Keller Online


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 aA 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....

Title : Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780805061963
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions Reviews

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-02-02 18:32

    This was a tremendously fun title. Warning: Do not read this unless you can frequently tell the people in the room with you odd, random facts about toys. About every other page I felt compelled to say "Hey, did you know that Legos didn't come to the US until 1961?" or "Did you know that the Super Bowl was sort of named after the Super Ball?"This is a great nonfiction title to have on hand. It is a topic with which children are familiar, and the prose is easy to read and immediately gripping ("Play-Doh began as a product for cleaning wallpaper. The seesaw was first used as a prop in the bloody spectacle in the arenas of Ancient Rome. Long ago there were kites so large that people could be flown on them. Behind every toy there is a story."(page 3) Wulffson also did the excellent Soldier X, which is completely different but also very good.One thing that I sometimes forget is that many boys are not fiction readers. I have one student now who has finally started to read because I have a set of books on different vehicles. He's finally passed some AR tests and is reading one short book a day. You can bet that I will have Toys! on hand when he stops by to see me today.

  • Stephanie Watson
    2019-02-19 18:33

    This book tells the stories behind the inventions of many different toys: slinky, seesaw, Lego, tops, Mr. Potato Head, playing cards, silly putty, wind-up toys and automatons, hobbyhorses, bicycles, remote-controlled toys, Raggedy Ann, toy soldiers, twister, parcheesi, checkers, magic rocks, super ball, toy trains, Play-doh, table tennish, pinball, trivial persuit, kites, and trickster toys. It is well-written. The illustrations are simple black-and-white cartoons.I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Some may view this book as useless trivia, but there are a lot of valuable lessons here, including the values of creativity and perseverance. The stories of these toys are, by turns, hilarious, inspiring, delightful, and even heartbreaking or horrifying (who would have guessed the see-saw has such a dark past!?). Some of these toys were invented by one person; others took groups or even entire cultures of people to create them. Some were invented deliberately, others came about totally by accident.This books works equally well as a sit-down read or something to be perused for just a few toys' stories.

  • KayKay
    2019-02-02 18:20

    Such a fun, quick read about history on some of the favorite toys ever. Truly an amazing book, small but concise, about classical toys to the latest favorite (i.e. Pokemon!) The chapter on Trivial Pursuit even have few questions for readers to try out. Adults and children would find joy reading it. Highly recommended.

  • Todd Coopee
    2019-01-25 15:48

    “Behind every toy there is a story”, writes Don Wulffson in the introduction to his book, Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions. He reinforces this notion over the next 144 pages with a witty and humorous take on more than two-dozen vignettes behind some classic and popular toy inventions.Learn about the macabre use of the see-saw by the Romans, the original use for Play-Doh (spoiler alert: it was used for cleaning wallpaper), and the touching story behind why the Raggedy Ann doll has a red heart on her chest that says, “I Love You”.Educational and fun, the book is written for ages 8-12 – making it a perfect classroom companion for students interested in trivia, history, and the sometimes accidental and quirky thought process used by inventors. Wulffson’s text is deftly complemented via a series of original cartoon illustrations from Laurie Keller that serve to further lighten the tone of each story. A bibliography and list of websites rounds out the book, providing pointers for further exploration and discovery.As someone deeply interested in the history of toys and their inventors, I’m always on the lookout for books from like-minded authors. Despite being targeted at a much younger audience, I enjoyed leafing through Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions. It has a permanent place on my bookshelf, nestled securely next to another on of my favorites, The Playmakers: Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys by Tim Walsh.

  • Deborah White
    2019-01-20 20:39

    Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions is a gem of a book. This little book gives you interesting insight into a part of our lives that we take for granted - our toys. We trip over them, we dust them off when they are pulled out of the cabinet, we cherish the childhood memories surrounded around them, yet we do not know how they came to be, or almost didn’t! Toys! has some surprising answers to these questions and more. Toys! can not help but pique the interest of readers of all ages - we have all had toys we loved and sometimes lost. In addition, Toys! gives the reader an historical context in which to place toys and also inspirational stories of the people who invented them.

  • Deborah
    2019-02-20 19:37

    This book is a good example of informative writing with voice--and on topics students will really enjoy. It has good examples, especially of introductions to informative writing--and some good conclusions that circle around. Each chapter ends with some interesting facts that didn't make it into the chapter's focus--something students can learn about research: all the good stuff doesn't have to make it in the paper. It's amazing how many toys were accidents and how many toy inventors didn't give up before their toys--slinkies and play dough, for example--made it big.

  • Suzanne
    2019-02-20 20:29

    This is the type of nonfiction book for kids I like. It is organized in articles (chapters) that can be read as a whole book about toys or as articles about individual toys for interest or research. The reading level is high enough to challenge, but because it can be digested in articles, it is not that tough. And best of all, it is interesting, new information about topics must students know something about. I want to use this book and books like it as classroom set reads to balance off the fiction classroom reads we already use. Great book.

  • Bill Sleeman
    2019-02-06 17:19

    We picked this book out for our son but I ended up reading it first. A fun and informative diversion from the heavier stuff on my reading list. I had no idea that the "Slinky" was military technology! I will never watch it bounce down the stairs in the same way again. The extra illustrations by Laurie Keller are amusing and in the spirit of good fun (loved the “marshmallow man”) that permeates this book. Read it in an afternoon while sipping coffee – a good use of my time overall.

  • Marcia
    2019-02-13 17:48

    A fun look at how some of the most classic toys we grew up with came to be. Short, humorous chapters feature toys such as Mr. Potato Head, Silly Putty, Play Doh, G.I. Joe, and bicycles and how they were invented. Many were science lab creations--or mistakes---others evolved from ancient cultures. Additional facts at the end of each chapter and cute line drawings add to the enjoyment. A nice nonfiction choice for grades 3-6.

  • Amanda
    2019-01-30 20:25

    Love this book so far. Its wacky how some cool toys came about. I think this book is a good book. I really think it is weird that playdough was used for cleaning wall paper.I don't really play with toys anymore but I still think this book is cool because it kind of gives the whole idea that most things that we enjoy today were made by mistake and what would have happened if that mistake haden't been made?

  • Joanne
    2019-01-28 21:27

    The title is pretty self-explanatory; what adds to the stories is the illustrations, which are super cute. The stories themselves vary in interest, with tops to Play-Do and Raggedy Ann (which is a tearjerker) and ho-hum to pinball machines and toy soldiers.I think it would be age-appropriate for about eleven year olds.

  • Gail
    2019-01-31 17:21

    This is a great book for short informational passages that children (and adults!) will enjoy reading. Fun and interesting facts about many popular toys and games - both modern and classic. I would recommend this to teachers who are looking for good examples of informational text that are somewhat narrative. Could be a good mentor text for informational writing.

  • Abby Johnson
    2019-01-25 16:35

    A very readable and interesting book about the history of your favorite toys from Slinkies to GI Joe to Raggedy Anne. Each entry includes information about the toy throughout history and its inventor(s) if they are known. This is a great book for browsing and will appeal to kids who like to read books with trivia and facts. Cute cartoon illustrations are done by the incomparable Laurie Keller.

  • Jeremiah Olushoga
    2019-01-20 20:29

    I read this book over summer because of school. This book has history behind toys. It shows the origin of them and other inserting things about toys. Some toys were made by accidents and some weren't and that made the book interesting to me. This book is very fascinating and interesting. I recommend this book to people who want to learn new things.

  • Sherry
    2019-02-18 15:23

    Interesting stories behind the most popular toys and games, both ancient and contemporary. Good read for the inquisitive child who loves obscure facts about everything. Trivial Pursuit is one of the games included in the anthology...Booklegger, grades 5-6

  • Trent Mikesell
    2019-01-30 17:23

    I thought the stories about the different toys were really fun. I kept interrupting my wife's reading to tell her something else I had learned. I could see reading chapters from this if I had extra time at the end of class or something. I think my students would find some of it interesting.

  • Kim
    2019-02-02 18:47

    (Fifth Grade Common Core book) This is a great nonfiction book for 5th graders. I read at least half of the stories aloud to my class, and they begged me to read more. It was very interesting how most of the toys started out as totally different things!

  • Nadine Ottoson
    2019-01-25 14:31

    Great!I had to read a non-fiction book for school due on 1/19/16 and was assigned on 11/23/15 . So I am a huge procrastinator and I waited until 3 days before the due date. I finished it easily and it was very interesting so I recommend this book.

  • B.P.
    2019-02-09 16:41

    Some may think that I am reading junior non-fiction in an attempt to breeze through my 2015 reading challenge. It was not the main reason I selected this book, as I do enjoy enjoy reading about the design and history of toys. Not a bad read, informative and engaging.

  • Wendy
    2019-01-28 18:26


  • Jennifer Chapman
    2019-02-03 18:27

    Good trivia and well written - this would be best for a fifth or sixth grade student who is a trivia fanatic.

  • Danielle Smith
    2019-02-11 18:35

    Fun, easy to read, full of classic toys!

  • Jonathan
    2019-02-05 21:25

    Great book for kids 10+ and I definitely recommend it for toy enthusiasts and anyone interested in everything.

  • Lupe
    2019-02-18 13:37

    A must for toy enthusiasts! I used this for a toy/game unit but I'm keeping it for my library collection. The author/illustrator interviews are interesting, too.

  • Shari
    2019-01-31 14:24

    This book tells the backstory of toys from hobby horses to Trivial Pursuit.

  • PWRL
    2019-01-23 19:30


  • Jeanne
    2019-02-19 13:47

    Going to booktalk this to the kids in 5th and 6th grades. Did you know they used Slinkys as make-shift radio antennas in the Vietnam War? thought some guys would get into that.

  • Deborah Harris
    2019-01-30 15:37

    RL 5.0 GRL-UAR Quiz No. 40671 EN NonfictionAccelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: MG - BL: 6.8 - AR Pts: 3.0Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP

  • Mary
    2019-02-19 17:20

    A fun and interesting read!

  • Trinity
    2019-02-03 13:48

    love it!