CLOSED!!! Giveaway: Signed Copy of My Book “Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other COOL CONTRAPTIONS.”

My Book


Robyn is the WINNER of my book!  I will be contacting her shortly!  You can tell your hubby that it does have something to do with a remote control gadget.  I will explaining exactly what it is in a new post.  I want to thank everyone for all your kind comments and suggestions about my book!



My book “Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other COOL CONTRAPTIONS” was published by Sterling in 2006.  It has gone into its second printing and, I think, Sterling does not have plans for a third printing. :(  I am looking into publishing for Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Nobles’ Nook. The book is targeted at children from 6 to 15 who like to make stuff.  Many of the projects in the book were adapted from my articles that I had published in Boys’ Quest and/or Fun For Kidz magazines.  I am the Workshop editor of both magazines.

Project 15 in the book is titled “Sidewinder Thingamajig.”  Do you have any idea what this project is about?  Hint: Believe it or not it is useful and practical!  I plan on giving away a signed copy of my book to the person that describes the project the best.  This contest ends on the Ides of March (March 15).   If there are ties I will have my wife draw the winning name from my Stihl hat!  Remember, March 15th is the last date to enter this contest!

The following are two reviews of my book you might want to read.  By the way, if they weren’t flattering do you think I would mention them?

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—The 20 projects in this collection range from a simple “Heartbeat Monitor” to a fairly complex “Moth-Bot,” a wheeled vehicle that moves toward light with the flick of a switch. Most have strong kid appeal, though the “Snowball Launcher” and “Super-Duper Water Shooter” are likely to generate more interest than the “Drinking-Straw Dispenser.” Energetic writing makes all of the projects sound intriguing, and the process of creating working gadgets can be as much fun as the end result. Instructions are written in an engaging, conversational tone, with background information about concepts such as gravity and electricity woven into the text. The directions are fairly easy to follow, although the complexity of some of the later “contraptions” will require especially careful attention and possibly adult consultation. Diagrams are also helpful; several steps are often combined in a single illustration, but clear and consistent labeling makes them effective. Most of the projects use household materials, along with basic craft or electronic supplies. The last seven involve electricity; they are more complex and require more purchased items, such as DC motors and transistors. Fifteen of the projects have a clearly highlighted “Adult Supervision Required” note, mainly for use of drills, saws, or other sharp tools. This is a good resource for students looking for out-of-the-ordinary science projects and for curious and creative kids who just want to make something fun and different.—Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

“Does your arm get tired and start hurting right in the middle of a snowball fight?” The solution to these and other conundrums (how to get maximum range out of a water shooter; how to turn a toy car into a rocket) are presented in this accessible selection of projects, many of which have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Quest and Hopscotch for Girls. The open layouts present diagrams and step-by-step instructions for projects that include a giant-pumpkin grower, a stethoscope, and a robot, and the author encourages kids to use recycled materials, such as empty oatmeal canisters and paper-towel tubes. Fox also discusses the scientific principles each project demonstrates, making this an excellent choice for classroom use. Younger kids will need help with both the science facts and the tools (notes indicate the projects requiring adult supervision), but older ones can confidently tackle several simple contraptions on their own. Adults will welcome this selection of high-interest projects that are ready-made for collaborative, educational fun. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

12 thoughts on “CLOSED!!! Giveaway: Signed Copy of My Book “Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other COOL CONTRAPTIONS.”

  1. Pingback: Signed Copy of “Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other COOL CONTRAPTIIONS” | Big List of Giveaways

    1. Tom Post author

      Hi Tia, Thanks for your kind comment.
      In order to win this book you must have the best description of my Sidewinder Thingamajig project.

  2. Kiki

    I’m a librarian and would love to have this book in our library. We don’t have enough science books on our shelves. This book is a great approach to making science alive for kids – I would have loved to learn science this way instead of rote memorization.

    Please do think of publishing an eBook. Even our small library system has eBooks and they are becoming very popular with all ages.

    If I did give an answer to your question, it would be based upon research and not upon my knowledge…so I will leave it to the creative kids to answer.

    1. Tom Post author

      Hi Kiki,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I have been thinking of publishing an eBook. I also would like to do another Cool Contraption book with all new projects, most of which would come from my workshop column in Boys’ Quest and Fun For Kidz. Kiki, you made my evening! Thank you!

    1. Tom Post author

      Hi Laureen,

      Thanks for your comment. To win the book, you must provide the best description of my Sidewinder Thingamajig project.

  3. R.Mueller

    Okay Tom, I have never read your book, hence why I am trying to win this darn thing for my husband who thinks this might be a book he’s read (p.s Tom…this NEVER happens…the hubster finding a book he’d read)
    So since I have no clue what the Project 15: Sidewinder Thingamajig, this is my best guess.
    I think it has something to do with a joystick and your remote control and playing games. (okay, so if I am totally off, it’s all my husbands fault, cause he’s behind me thinking he knows “everything” once again)
    Here’s to hoping I have SOME chance at this crazy book lol!

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  5. Pingback: Signed “Cool Contraptions” Book Giveaway at Tom’s Blog | Contest Corner: The Best Giveaways on The Net!

  6. Holly S.

    “The Sidewinder Thingamajig project (which is a product both USEFUL and PRACTICAL) will show you how to make, with only 3 common household items, a super-duper reeler-inner that when fitted onto your fishing reel, will quickly reel in even the most stubborn fish with ease; they will not know what hit them!”

    I don’t actually know what the project is about, so I thought I might give you a chuckle and hopefully be entered to win this book for my son, who loves making things with his hands and would pore over this book for years to come. Thanks.



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