Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Illustrated by Joe Berger
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is determined to put herself back together even though the Tooting family thinks they are in charge of the refurbishing project. Dad loses his job and decides to fix those things around the house that he has not had time for. He is so overzealous with his home projects that Mom buys him a camper van to restore. She works at Unbeatable Motoring Bargains and it was a good deal. He and Jem (short for Jeremy) work for nearly two months lovingly taking things apart, cleaning and oiling them, and putting them together. The first time they start up the van, Jem notices a strange noise from the engine which he interprets as spark plugs misfiring. To find spark plugs that old, they must go to a salvage yard that has been in operation for years. In wandering amongst the wrecks, they find a huge engine in the top of a tree along with a steering wheel and a hand crank. Dad gets very excited and adds it to their camper van along with a few other parts that belong with the engine. Then, the next time they drive it, it drives itself, even going off a cliff. That activated a huge pair of wings and the camper van flew! The van takes the Tooting family to Paris and Cairo. Someone in the family had each wanted to go there so they didn’t think about the camper van taking them. In Paris, they find the headlamps. In Cairo, they find the wheels. But it is in Madagascar, when they find the car’s body, that Jem realizes these discoveries are not coincidences. The car even gives them her name with two long whirrs and two short bangs. After the car is in one piece, Jem also realizes that a villain named Tiny Jack has been after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the whole time. To escape Tiny Jack and his evil Nanny, they accidentally discover another working bit: the Chronojuster – which is just a fancy word for time travel gizmo.
Ian Fleming wrote the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which involved the Potts family and their adventures with the car. This new series has a new family and a new set of adventures but, the magical car has all its old charm. This is the sequel and it ends with a cliffhanger that leads into the next book: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time. The characters are delightfully eccentric, even the villain. This would make a good class read aloud. The fourth grade reading level makes this a good choice for reading buddies because the story would engage younger readers as well. Students can chart the countries where Chitty takes the Tootings for a geography and literacy activity. There is an activity kit, a teacher’s guide and a book trailer available at the publisher’s website: (http://www.chittyfliesagain.com/).
- TITLE: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
- AUTHOR: Frank Cottrell Boyce
- ILLUSTRATOR: Joe Berger
- PUBLISHER: Candlewick, 2011
- REVIEWER: Risa Brown
- EDITION: Paperback, 213 p.
- ISBN: 978-0-7636-6353-7