World of Inventors

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Not only do these kit-books look like hefty ancient tomes, each holds a "secret" inside the parts to build one of each inventor's most famous inventions. For Alexander Graham Bell, an intercom system modeled after his telephone; for Thomas Edison, an animation machine modeled after his Kinetoscope; and for da Vinci, a flying ornithopter! But if you want to dig into a biography of each man first, you'll enjoy the full-color, 40-page books inside the top cover, which feature an abundance of photos and drawings in addition to the very readable text. In Thomas Edison, the first several pages look at Edison's early life and his influences before spending the bulk of the book looking at specific inventions, both successes (like the phonograph) and failures (like dolls with miniature phonographs inside). After the pages about Edison's Kinetoscope, you'll find step-by-step instructions to build the featured model, using the pieces and filmstrips included in the kit. We tried ours out with the filmstrip of the running horse, and everyone in the office had to get a look at it! While the models do seem to work, you probably do want to be gentle with them, as they are plastic and pieces can snap. Informative, attractive and with cool models to snap together, these are a fun alternative to a full-blown project book. Jess

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World of Inventors: Thomas Edison Item #: 029188
Grades: 3-6
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