Thursday, August 23, 2012
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Joe Berger, illustrator
Candlewick, 2012 (U.S. date)
If you're like me, you can't read that title without beginning to hum the theme song from the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (which, in my mind, isn't a bad thing ☺). Did you know that there was first a book? Yes, yes there was--written by Ian Fleming.
Did you know, too, that Frank Cottrell Boyce is a master of terrific adventure stories and was given permission from the Ian Fleming estate to continue Chitty's adventures? His stories are very British, are technically fantasy since the events couldn't actually happen, and are exactly the kind of story you wish might really happen. I mean, after all, who wouldn't want to go up in a rocket and see the moon? Or find a million dollars? What about repairing an old camper van only to discover that it can fly and has a mind of its own?
Enter: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, a rollicking adventure that is very British in feel (the family "pootles" down the road and such). Frank Cottrell Boyce has done it again, and for those kids who love a great story that's a bit madcap and absurd, features winsome characters, creative villains, and a wild family adventure, this is going to be a winner! The ending seems a bit abrupt, but I don't believe most kids will mind that. I love the family dynamics in this book as well. And Joe Berger's illustrations are top notch.
Recommended audience: Early Elementary and up for read alouds; Middle Elementary and up reading independently (reading level is middle grades, but content is fine for younger groups)
Thanks to my local library for the book and to goodreads for the cover shot.