Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (MG)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again. Frank Cottrell Boyce. 2012. Candlewick Press. 192 pages.

Most cars are just cars. Four wheels. An engine. Some seats. They take you to work. Or to school. They bring you home again. But some cars--just a few--are more than cars.
Some cars are different.
Some cars are amazing.
And the Tooting family's car was absolutely definitely not one of those.
Not amazing.
Not different.
It was so undifferent and so unamazing, in fact, that on the last day of the summer term when Lucy and Jem strolled out of the school gates and into the holidays, they walked straight past it. They didn't even notice it was there until their father popped his head out of the window and shouted, Lucy! Jem! Jump in! I'm giving you a lift!"

 Did I love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again? Not really. Not love. It's not that kind of book, at least not for me. Did I like it? Yes! Not that I'd go so far as to say I really, really, really liked it. But. It was definitely a fun, silly, predictably over-the-top adventure story--the sort that's perfect for family read alouds. The family is just wonderfully silly. There's a clever Dad who loves to invent or tamper with things. A cleverer Mom who thinks its a great idea if Dad tampers with a camper van instead of the house. And three children: Jem, Lucy, and Little Harry. Each has their role to play in the novel, as you might expect, but don't expect brilliant, amazing characterization. These characters feel like humorous character sketches created for our amusement. Jem was fun because as he worked with his Dad, his confidence grew and grew. And soon we have our own hero in the making. Lucy was also fun. You might think you know what Lucy does in her black bedroom, but, trust me, you don't know the half of it. Little Harry, well, no one takes him as seriously as they should. And he does provide the twist at the end!

If you enjoy adventure-fantasies that are completely over-the-top, then Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again is just the novel for you. I do think it would make a good read aloud. I do think it's a fun, playful, enjoyable read.

Read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
  • If you enjoy fantasy-adventure novels 
  • If you love humorous adventure stories that aren't quite believable but are oh-so-fun in the moment
  • If you love family books
  • If you are looking for books with biracial characters
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cerena 12:09 PM  

Wow! I loved the movie. Had no idea there was a book!

Nicola 6:21 AM  

I'm reading this now and quite enjoying it! Very British; I think he's done a good job of keeping the tone of the original. I love the original book but was never partial to the movie.

hopeinbrazil 8:55 AM  

I loved the original book, but usually don't like sequels by other authors. However, Nicola's comment makes me think I could give it a try. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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