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.
Gilbert Ford grew up in a family of professional photographers in Jackson, Mississippi, and moved to New York to attend Pratt Institute. After graduating, he worked as a designer and illustrator for a giftware company, creating educational puzzles, games, stickers, stationery, and activity books for children, before setting out on his own. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY where he has illustrated many New York Times best selling middle grade novels and also award-winning picture books.
In 2015 he received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author/ illustrator of the non-fiction picture books The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring and How The Cookie Crumbled, both published by Atheneum. He is also the author/illustrator of his debut middle grade novel, Kindred Spirits, to be published by Macmillan/Ottaviano in 2020.