4. The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy that Swept the Nation
By Gilbert Ford
Grades: Kindergarten through 3
The story of United States naval engineer Richard James and his wife, Betty, leads children through the accidental creation of the Slinky during World War II and its journey to become a toy and tool for music, radio transmissions, and medical devices. After reading about the ways in which the world has benefited from Slinky, have children develop their own new uses for this simple, yet fascinating toy.