Book review

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming (1964)

If you've seen the film, it's time you read the book!

It's just a little bit of fun about a very special car which is so grateful to be rescued from the scrap heap by the Pott family, that she positively grows wings and flies!

Now, the Pott family are not very rich, even though Commander Caractacus Pott is an explorer and an inventor. But one day he invents something very clever indeed. He invents Crackpots Crackpot Whistling Sweets. They are such a brilliant idea that he sells his idea to Lord Skrumshus, the sweet magnate, for one thousand pounds.

And the very first thing they spend their money on is a new car for family outings. But it has to be a very special car. Nothing ordinary. When they behold Gen II on the scrap heap, rusting and forlorn, they set their hearts on her immediately:

It wouldn't be like having just one of those black beetles that the factories turn out in hundreds and thousands and that all look alike. We'd have a real jewel of a car, something to love and cherish and look after as if it was one of the family!

Well, Caractacus Pott employs all his genius in renovating her, and when he has finished, she is spectacular:

Jeremy said excitedly, 'We've got to have a name for her. And I know what we ought to call her. What she called herself.'
'What do you mean?'
'What was that?'
'When did she?' they all cried together.
Jeremy said slowly, 'She said it when she started - CHITTY-CHITTY, like sneezes, and then BANG-BANG! So we'll call her that, her own invented name.'

Naturally, the fact that the Pott family now has a beautiful car, which turns out to have very special magic powers, is really just the start of some amazing adventures - you'll have to read the book though! ...

What can I read next?

This is a short, easy to read book, full of amazing adventure, suitable for young, confident readers.

If you enjoy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, you might like to have a look at this charming little trilogy by Henrietta Branford, which is much more fun than you might expect from the cover:

Or this brilliant classic by E Nesbit:

There are plenty of outstanding authors for younger readers who are ready to get their teeth into a proper book. You could look at the range of stories by Michael Morpurgo:

Also Dick King-Smith, who writes for a range of ages, so check that the book you have chosen is appropriate before you start:

And of course, Anne Fine has written a great number of books for younger readers.

If you are an older reader, working your way through the classics out of interest, you should probably have a look at this one by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, if you are not already familiar with it:

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

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