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The Way Toys Work: The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch A Sketch, Boomerang, and More Paperback – May 1, 2008


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The Way Toys Work: The Science Behind the Magic 8 Ball, Etch A Sketch, Boomerang, and More + Inventing Toys: Kids Having Fun Learning Science
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—The authors examine 50 toys, including their history and scientific principles. In many cases, they discuss and reproduce original patent drawings. They also take the toys apart to reveal the technology that makes them tick and offer suggestions on how one might build some of these items from scratch. The entries include the balsa wood plane, Erector Set, Frisbee, gyroscope, hula hoop, and Nintendo Entertainment System. Written for novices and illustrated with black-and-white photos throughout, this book is sure to provide hours of entertainment and enlightenment.—Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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Review

"Written for novices and illustrated . . . throughout, this book is sure to provide hours of entertainment and enlightenment."  —School Library Journal


"Perfect for collectors, for anyone daring enough to build homemade versions of these classic toys and even for casual browsers."  —Booklist



"Really fun . . . can keep little and big brains occupied for hours."  —mamaspeaks.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527456
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Wallace on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent. I'd like to think my grandson will grow up to be an engineer based on his love of how things are put together and what makes them work. The Way Toys Work is easy to understand while providing lessons in an enjoyable atmosphere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Walden on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Children above a certain age may read this book themselves. Parents (or others simply interested in product design) will read the book themselves. I can also imagine reading the book to younger children while explaining things to them (teaching them about things).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A somewhat sketchy discussion of a worthy topic.
Yes, I improved, to a small extent, my understanding of some of the toys discussed.
No, physical explanations were too sparse: I expected to understand the principle of the friction motor, for one, as other toys were explained.
Too little drawings and plates may be explained by the printed origin of this book - but of course, not relevant for the kindle version.

A separate note for the kindle viewer (I use Mac, iPhone, iPad): Slow, off context rendering (plate is detached from text relating to it) plagues all kindle books I read so far.
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This book cover a lot of toys and their mechanisms. If you want discover how they work, it is a good choice.
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