Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Joe Berger

The Tooting family—Jem, Lucy, Little Harry, and their parents—are taking... read more

The Tooting family—Jem, Lucy, Little Harry, and their parents—are taking a trip in their recently refurbished camper van. The junkyard engine Dad installed in the van once belonged to an extraordinary flying car, something they discover in the nick of time when the van is heading over the white cliffs of Dover with Little Harry alone inside. The fact that their van can fly is just the first of many surprises in store for the Tootings and for readers in this funny stand-alone story that riffs on Ian Fleming’s original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (and includes at least one playful reference to James Bond). There are villains—a midget posing as a spoiled child, and his beautiful nanny—who invite the unsuspecting Tootings to stay with them in order to steal the van. The van, meanwhile, has ideas of its own about where it should go: the engine is on a mission to acquire the rest of the car’s original parts. From France to Egypt to a remote tropical island, the Tootings are on the move, gradually realizing their van has a plan. The over-the-top secondary characters and plot are balanced by the appealing biracial (Black/white) family at the center of this delightfully playful story. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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