Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | Ian Fleming
When the Potts family buys a rusted old motorcar from a used car garage, they know that she will be different. She won’t be like the other motorcars that rush up and down the road with their beetle-black sameness. Oh no, this motorcar is special. This motorcar is magic. Twins Jeremy and Jemima are certain of this. First, her registration plate reads Gen 11. Second, she has a name, and she named herself. This motorcar is Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, full of the inventive genius of their father Caracticus Potts, and a few unknown tricks of her own. Readers will discover the mystery and magic of the beloved Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang as the Potts family uncovers the nefarious deeds of a bandit known as Joe the Monster and his ruffian gang. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will soar straight into the hearts of her readers and they won’t want the adventure to end.
Most people* know about the magical car called Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang from the delightful 1968 movie staring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. In my college years, I worked at a used book store and first discovered that my beloved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a book before it was a movie. It only dawned on me later that its author was Ian Fleming, as in James Bond. That Ian Fleming. His James Bond novels have enjoyed huge popularity but his single book for children, though not as flashy, remains a classic no one should miss. Having never read anything by Mr. Fleming, I was delightfully surprised at the humor and style that was well balanced with intrigue and suspense. Though written with children as the main audience, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is not just a book “for children.” Read this book with the knowledge that James Bond’s creator wrote it gives and you will notice another layer of delight to the story. This is Ian Fleming after all. This short little book is a mini adventure for all ages, involving mystery, criminals, a car chase or two, and a magical car that always has an edge over the bad guys. When you finish it, you might find yourself looking at your own car with a mixture of foolish hope and resigned disappointment because there’s only one Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.
ps. Iam Fleming ends this book as if he were going to write a sequel and I was so disappointed when I remembered that this was the only children’s book he wrote
*If you haven’t seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the movie, please stop reading this post and go watch it.