Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again; Frank Cottrell Boyce; Macmillan Children’s Books; 2011
Book summary (taken from Amazon UK):
The first ever sequel to Ian Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, written by bestselling author Frank Cottrell Boyce and endorsed by the Fleming family. When the Tooting family find a vast abandoned engine and fit it to their camper van, they have no idea of the adventure that lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary flying car – and it wants to be back on the road again…fast! The Tootings can haul on the steering wheel and pull the handbrake as hard as they like, but their camper van now has a mind of her own. It’s not long before they’re hurtling along on a turbocharged chase as Chitty tracks down her long-lost bodywork. But there are sinister forces at work too. When it comes to a car as special as Chitty, everybody wants a piece of her…
Literature for Lads Review:
I think it’s safe to say the Fleming Estate will be delighted with the sequel that Boyce has written to the original ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. This is a wonderfully entertaining, fun filled, enjoyable story which boys in the later stages of Primary school will love.
The book centres around the Tooting Family and their adventures in a VW Camper Van. The van is fitted with an old engine rescued from a rather peculiar scrapyard and it soon becomes clear this engine has transformed the camper van into something rather extraordinary. Before too long the Tootings discover their camper van has a mind of its own and their magical mystery tour begins.
Boyce enthralls us with the various escapdes of the Tootings and Chitty as they travel across the English channel, onwards to Paris and then beyond to the African Continent. The story is pacy, entertaining and laced with humour throughout. As we arrive in each destination we are given snippets of factual information which adds another interesting angle to the story.
The family themselves have been expertley created by Boyce. They are a very modern family, with a father recently made redundant (a nod to the current recession?), a mother trying to hold things together, Lucy the Goth teenager, and her brother Jem, and not forgetting little brother Harry. All of the characters are engaging, the dialogue between them feels natural and Boyce makes reference to various modern day issues affecting families.
He also litters the book with references to modern day technology, including the use of Facebook and the regular use of a mobile phone to give us the factual information on their destinations. There is no doubt this will appeal to boys as will the description of the Aston Martin halfway through the book (A nod to James Bond perhaps?)
Boyce has written a great book which firmly transplants Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang into the 21st Century. It’s full of fun, adventure, mystery and suspense and the ending leaves us in no doubt that the Tooting family adventures are far from over. I look forward to catching up with them and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang again soon!