Nearly 50 years after the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was penned by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the adventures of the magical car are continued for a new generation. As a boy, author Frank Boyce was awestruck by Fleming’s story and has continued the tale of Chitty long after Caractacus Pott was the owner. The new owners are the Tooting family, and just as Pott was, the father is an offbeat, creative type. What Tooting buys to refurbish is a late model camper that the family names “Sneezy.” But, they soon realize Sneezy is no ordinary vehicle. Unknown to the Tootings, the parts of the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang have been scattered throughout the world. Sneezy takes the family on a global quest to collect the original parts. The camper doesn’t stop until he has all the parts and becomes the sleek buggy known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
What’s not fun about a magical flying car? Add in an eccentric family, some villains and a global race around the world, and you have a recipe for a fun and humorous novel for young readers. A follow up to this story is available called, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Race Against Time, and it would be nice to see more on the way.
Boys and girls aged 8 to 11 would enjoy Chitty the most. No prior knowledge of the original is necessary. In fact, it might be better that way. Of course, Mr. Fleming’s original novel is a great piece of literature and not to be missed. (And, it’s not nearly as creepy as the 1968 motion picture. No child catcher or evil Baron Bromburst!)
Those with knowledge of the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, might be concerned that Boyce re-imagined the fabled car as a camper. But, Boyce cleverly ties the two tales together, and by the end of the story, the pop culture icon that we all know and love makes an appearance.
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