Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1: Flies Again
- Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date:
- 24 May 2012
- Adventure stories
Showing 1-3 out of 3 reviews.
I really enjoy Frank Cottrell Boyce's books, and this did not disappoint. It's very funny. This one is written for a slightly younger reader -- perhaps 4th grade and up. The Tooting family has a change of fortune when the father loses his job, so they decide to travel the world. To do so, they buy an old camper and the dad and son Jem work for months fixing it up. Once they start on their journey, things get weird. The car seems to have a mind of its own, and miraculously it even flies without their knowing it could. It flies them to the top of the Eiffel Tower, where they are almost arrested until the dad says something romantic about his wife and the whole of Paris instantly melts (including the police). They also visit the Sphinx in Egypt and Madagascar. Ultimately, it's a great romp.
Children's LiteratureThis colorful adventure begins when the Tooting family purchases an old, beat-up camper van with the hopes of traveling the world and seeing the sights. Dad and son, Jem, set out to fix the van and soon they find an old engine which Dad decides to restore and put in the van. Soon the Tooting family is on their way to Paris when they are surprised to learn that their van can fly. The Tootings travel through the sky and land right on the top of the Eiffel Tower. Gradually, the Tooting family learns that their van has its own plans. It is determined to recover all its old parts and be restored to the once famous Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Chitty soon takes the Tootings to Egypt to see the Sphinx. There, they meet a lady who allows them to stay at the house of the mysterious Tiny Jack, a man who wants to buy their camper van. When the Tooting children are separated from their parents, the three siblings, Jem, Lucy and Little Harry, are left to save themselves and their beloved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Much like the famous movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, from the early 1960's, this story takes some time to develop. The beginning is filled with silly and unnecessary family conversations and antics, and it isn't until the family begins to travel that the series of cause and effect events begin to occur. The clever illustrations, however, add warmth and humor to the over-the-top characters and story
Reason for Reading: I love Fleming's original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang book and have read it several times. as a kid and as read-alouds to my own kids. It's always been a favourite. I've never been much of a fan of the movie, though, probably because of the drastic changes to plot. I don't usually read these kind of sequels to classic books but this was commissioned by the Fleming estate and Fleming did only write the one book, so I decided to try this and see if it recaptured the magic of the original.It certainly did! I was particularly amused throughout the book.Mr. Boyce has done a very good job of maintaining the voice and atmosphere of the original while making the story completely his own. This story takes place in modern times and involves the putting back together of the original Chitty car, which all starts with the Tootings family finding the engine and installing it in their Camping Van. At this point, Chitty is able to take over the van and drives (or flies) the van all over the world (namely 'Paris, Cairo and below the ocean.) The book is also very British, with spellings, word usage, slangs and humour. A delightful little story which has a bit of a slow beginning but gets better and better until the wonderful ending, which leaves us expecting a sequel.
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