Don Whitman was the first to admit that some of his inventions were not exactly practical, but the tinkering bug had bitten him hard and though Pop refused him the henhouse for a workshop or later the church attic for a lab, he and friend Hatchie were determined to continue experimenting. Uncle Elbert, an inventor himself, if a poor one, and Mr. Hansen, the high school science teacher, certainly approved. From the periscope to the egg beater, from the toaster to the fire extinguisher and on to the flying balloon, Don plods his trail with great humor and even a dribble of success here and there, but when he almost kills himself through overexposure to dangerous chemicals, Pop calls a halt to the entire business. Sadly dismantling his makeshift workshop, Don happens to glance through his periscope only to witness the black cloud of an approaching tornado. His quick warning saves the town as well as Pop's respect and our junior Edison is given the go-ahead, aware that he may always be a ""tinkerer"", though he may some day be a true scientist. To the many non-fiction science books dedicated to an audience of Don Whitmans, this is a perfect fictional companion piece.