Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
There simply was never a car like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang --- that is, EXCEPT Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Unfortunately for Chitty, a magical car that can fly, its parts have been strewn all over the world and has laid unnoticed and disregarded for many years. That it would ever be put “together” again, least of all fly, is pretty much not in the picture. That’s the way it appears until…
"Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, would have been thrilled with this delightful sequel... CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN is a treat from start to finish and hopefully the beginning of many more adventures."
The Tooting family is very surprised when Mr. Tooting announces that he has lost his job. There are many things he could do, like looking for another job, but his heart is set on a great adventure --- an adventure for the whole family. His loved ones include three precocious children: the baby, little Harry; Jem, the mechanical whiz; and Lucy, who loves only black and finds everyone and everything rather wearisome. And of course, there’s Mum, who is now very worried about her husband. He has lost his job and car, and very well could be depressed. However, Mr. Tooting surprises everyone as he jumps into fixing things up --- whether or not they need repairing. After all, he certainly has not lost his “cleverness.”
One day, Mum comes driving up in what appears to be a very old, possibly obsolete pile of rust: “…Standing in the road, a dirty blue-and-cream camper van with rusty bumpers and one window missing.” Much to her delight, this turns out to be the ultimate challenge for Mr. Tooting, who sees great potential in the van and is thrilled to have a chance to take it apart. It might be an impossible job without a manual, but Jem is able to download the instructions from Google, and soon father and son have the old engine parts laying everywhere. It becomes a lengthy and great adventure as Jem learns from his father, who obviously can take anything apart and put it together even better. Jem keeps a diary as they putter through the days, working tirelessly to restore the old wreck so they can take their dream trip.
When everything is spiffy and well put together, off they go. But the fates are not always so agreeable, and the first thing that happens is an accident, yet there’s much more to it than that. Dad misses a turn, and the camper van rams into some trees. They have ended up in the junkyard of Bucklewing’s Scrap and Salvage. This is not at all daunting to Mr. Tooting because, before you know it, he and Jem have found a fantastic, big old engine (stuck in a tree no less) to replace the wrecked one. This is the real beginning of the Tooting adventure and where Chitty Chitty comes to life. That engine in the tree is the soul of the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
With the engine newly assigned into the old van, the family happily heads for Paris --- with no idea that the engine is actually taking them on one of the best adventures ever. They aren’t aware that Chitty Chitty has a special path in mind or that there are culprits out there waiting. The beloved, very valuable car is worth more than money, and nothing will stop the wrong people from trying to get it.
Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, would have been thrilled with this delightful sequel. It’s a fantastic adventure that carries the sweetness of the original tale put into modern times. What a great story to read aloud to kids, along with sharing the wonderful illustrations done by Joe Berger. CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN is a treat from start to finish and hopefully the beginning of many more adventures.
Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on March 30, 2012