cover image Burtons Zoom Zoom Va Room Machine

Burtons Zoom Zoom Va Room Machine

Dorothy Haas. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $13.95 (138pp) ISBN 978-0-02-738201-3

Young inventor Burton Bell Whitney Knockwurst has already come up with an automatic dog washer and sundry other devices. ``But now Burton was eleven, and it was time to get down to serious business.'' So Burton begins work, daydreaming in class and collecting material, and with the support of his friends Tish, Kevin and Jonathan, and the help of his surprisingly talented little brother, he fashions a Zoom Zoom Va-Rooom Machine--part rocket, part skateboard. All ends well after his friends foil the thieving Professor Savvy, and Burton finally scores points with his strict schoolteacher. Similar in tone to Disney's Flubber movies and the Alvin Fernard books, this antic novel will amuse middle-grade readers. Burton's wool-gathering ways and familiarity with matters scientific add depth to the story's frothy mix of adventure and family squabbling. Ages 10-13. (Aug.)