When the Tooting family finds an old engine and fits it to their camper van, they have no idea what kind of adventure lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary car . . . and it wants its bodywork back! But as the Tootings hurtle across the world rebuilding the original Chitty, a sinister baddie is on their trail — one who will stop at nothing to get the magnificent car for himself.
Fueled by wry humor, this much-anticipated sequel to the children’s classic by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond — featuring a contemporary family and a camper van with a mind of its own — is driven by best-selling, award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce and revved up by Joe Berger’s black-and-white illustrations.
I’ve been meaning to read something by Frank Cottrell Boyce ever since I discovered he wrote the book Framed that was adapted by the BBC a couple of years ago. Then lovely author Keris Stainton tweeted that she’d enjoyed this so I thought I would give it a go. I loved the film and the stage adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so the idea of a follow up really appealed to me.
The first thing I have to say about this book is how much fun it is. I grinned all the way through it and laughed so many times. The plot is quick, and quirky and really entertaining. I loved the idea initially of a camper van that had been modified with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style features, but the quick realisation that actually the original Chitty is trying to reassemble itself made me love it even more.
The book focuses on the Tooting family; Mum, Dad, and their three children Lucy, Jem and Harry. I loved Dad’s mad inventor side and eccentricities. The children were all brilliant characters, I’m not sure I could pick a favourite between them though Harry the toddler would probably make a good case for it being him. It wouldn’t be a good follow up to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang if there wasn’t some sort of scary character, Nanny makes a pretty good job of it though I was pretty pleased to see that she wasn’t as scary as the Childcatcher of the original story.
The book is a pretty quick read as an adult, it’s the kind of story that I imagine would work really well for bedtime storytelling. I’ll certainly be picking up more books by the author in the future.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again is published in hardback and eBook by Macmillan in the UK.