By: Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Published: April 6, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


In January of 2020, I shared SURPRISING STORIES BEHIND EVERYDAY STUFF and now we’ve got more surprising stories to share! This little book is full of fun info, quick facts, and of course, lots of photography. Kids will love sharing all the fun facts at dinner or on road trips this summer.

From clothing to medicine to athletics to food to ancient inventions and so much more, there are facts for all types of interests. This would make such a fun summer road trip book, where everyone can pass the book around and share a fact or story about something interesting. It will make the hours of driving fly by!

How appropriate that the popsicle was originally created by an eleven-year-old kid. Frank Epperson mixed up sugary powder and water and set it outside to freeze in 1905. What he found the next morning was a delicious treat. He called it an Epsicle, but his kids thought Popsicle sounded better!

I was shocked to realize the trampoline was invented by a kid from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I had never heard that before. Local sixteen-year-old, George Nissen, had seen the traveling circus in 1930 and thought the trapeze artists could drop into something that would bounce them higher rather than their safety net. So, together with his gymnastics coach, they built the very first trampoline in his garage.

I bet you’d be shocked to learn that combs were first made out of dried-out fish skeletons. Or how about braces made from cat intestines? I bet kids would choose the metal wires and brackets over that! I would also wager that kids would be grateful for modern medicine today over some of the treatments and tools used in the past such as a dental key or a surgical saw. Thankfully we don’t still use maggots or leeches to clean wounds or animal poop for remedies and treatments!

If you are making a trip to an amusement park this summer, you might find a Tilt-A-Whirl, a classic ride. Herbert Sellner from Fairbault, Minnesota started with fourteen prototypes in his backyard before finally in 1927, debuting his ride at the Minnesota State Fair. It was a hit! Every Tilt-A-Whirl ride is different because it depends on the weight and position of the riders which is why it’s so fun.

I could go on and on with all the fun facts to share from this little book. Kids and parents will enjoy learning all the quirky and interesting history behind products we use daily and other random stuff. These books are always the most popular ones when I take them into the classrooms and this one will be a hit as well.

Stephanie Warren Drimmer writes about science and nature for kids. She is a regular contributor to magazines like National Geographic Kids. Stephanie studied science journalism at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, dog, cat, and five chickens that she raised from teen baby chicks.

To purchase a copy of MORE SURPRISING STORIES BEHIND EVERYDAY STUFF, click the photo below:

Summer Read-to-Learn

All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn how to be better people or learn empathy from fictional stories too.

So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, plus, some from independent publishers. See them all, HERE.

Other books by Stephanie Warren Drimmer that you might like:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
Posted in

Leave a Comment