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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon

Review

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon

written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, illustrated by Joe Berger
Amazing motorized machine Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sends the Tooting family to the moon in an out-of-this-world fun adventure. The third title in the series approved by original creator Ian Fleming’s estate, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG: Over the Moon includes time travel, harrowing escapes, space travel and wonderful illustrations that bring the characters and mighty car to vivid life.
 
The story begins with the Tootings stranded in 1966 London, just before the only winning World Cup Final for England. Lucy does not like the micro miniskirts or psychedelic colors, and wants to try and find Chitty with her brothers. Her parents are desperate to see the match, or at least be close to it outside the stadium. When the whole family goes for a ride in the Queen’s Royal car, they realize they are missing Little Harry.  While they are in the car, they also witness the famous Big Ben tower take off like a rocket.
 
They encounter the Potts family, who owned Chitty back when it was green in the 1960’s, and learn that the Potts parents are with Chitty, Little Harry and villain Tiny Jack --- in Big Ben. The two Potts children team up with the Tootings to try and rescue them, only to watch as Chitty is mashed into a tiny cube.
 
An out-of-this-world fun adventure. 
 
Mr. Tooting is able to fix her in a funny scene involving special paint and time travel, and soon they are flying to the North Pole, only to find Big Ben but no family members. They rendezvous with Tiny Jack on his spaceship and realize he has stolen many of the world’s greatest treasures, including gold Chitty from modern times. They also find the elder Potts couple and Little Harry. Tiny Jack and his evil Nanny force them all to celebrate Tiny’s birthday, and the Tootings realize that they harmed Tiny when they last left him by himself in New York City. He would have preferred to spend his life playing hide and seek in the rainforest as outlined in a previous book.
 
Tiny Jack convinces several of them to take him to the moon in Chitty for his birthday and they do so, only to have him steal the Moon Buggy and leave them stranded. Meanwhile, the older Chitty is commandeered by Jem and the others who did not travel with Tiny, and they embark on a rescue.
 
After the two families are reunited, they work together to return all the things Tiny stole, and to return him to a time when he was happy.  The resolution of the time traveling is that the Potts must decide where --- and when --- they want to exist in a bittersweet ending.
 
At times the time travel is mind-bending, but the characters show depth and heart along with the magical car. Even Tiny Jack is shown to be a sympathetic character here. The illustrations add another level of creativity to this enjoyable read. The moon is a creative plot twist and readers will enjoy meeting some famous astronauts there. Fans of THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH and the original Ian Fleming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story will especially appreciate this zany caper.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on March 12, 2014

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon
(Chitty Chitty Bang Bang #4)
written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, illustrated by Joe Berger