Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
By Ian Fleming
Rating: (Worth Reading)
An eccentric inventor, Caractacus Pott, finally makes enough money off of it to finally afford a car for his family. The family chooses to buy a old, to-be-scrapped car and the father (Caractacus Pott) refurbishes it. It turns out to be a magical car that can fly. The rest of the story is about their adventures in the car, culminating in an encounter with a band of gangsters.
- All Ages. Good book to read aloud to little children.
- Children who like cars
Read This Book Because:
- Fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat adventure
- Uses difficult words along with explanations, explains many concepts about how cars work (see excerpts)
Things to Watch out for:
- There is an event in the book where a cave full of dynamite explodes, which may scare very little children.
- The part where the gangsters kidnap the children may also be scary for very small children.
- Be yourself, follow your heart.
- Be bold and resourceful.
- Commander Caractacus Pott, an inventor who is adventurous and bold.
- Mimsie Pott, wife of Caractacus Pott.
- Jeremy and Jemima Pott, their twin 8-year old children
Meggie (Rating: Worth Reading)
I loved this book; it is a funny and exciting adventure about a family of eccentrics who end up owning a magical car. I loved the main character, the father who is an eccentric inventor - Commander Caractacus Pott, who is not just funny, but persistent - even though others made fun of him. The magical car, whose name is the title of this book, comes across as a real character with a personality of her own. Finally, the parts of the story in the end where the children get kidnapped and use their resourcefulness to escape were exciting and kept me at the edge of my seat.
I will say this that I read it multiple times, and after a few readings, the rush and excitement wore away and I didn't enjoy it as much anymore.
Mo (Rating: Exceptional)
I loved this book, for many of the same reasons that Meggie mentioned. This book has richly drawn characters, most of all the magical car.
This is a very well-written adventure book. If I were to look for a message in the book, it's that people should be comfortable with whatever they are. One of the main characters, the father of the family, Commander Caractacus Pott, is eccentric, has had many failed inventions, and is even made fun of in the neighorhood, but is comfortable in his own skin, and can brush all of that off.
One thing I really liked about this book is how it weaves in little nuggets of knowledge. The author uses these long words, and then explains them right away. In some places, he goes into some detail about how a particular electrical process might work, or how some mechanism in a car works, but he does it in a way that feels very easy to understand.
Notice the author's attention to detail in describing the car; throughout the book, the car is lovingly described and comes out as a real character:
Slowly they walked around her and examined her inch by inch, from the rows and rows of gleaming knobs on the dashboard to the brand-new, dark-red leather upholstery, from the cream-coloured, collapsible roof to the fine new tyres, from the glistening silver of the huge exhaust pipes, snaking away from holes in the bright-green bonnet, to the glittering number-plates that said GEN 11.
And silently then climbed in through the low doors that opened and shut with the most delicious clicks, and Commander Caractacus Pott sat behind the huge driving wheel with Mimsie beside him in her own bucket-seat with an arm-rest, and Jeremy and Jemima got in the back and sank down amongst the big, soft, red-leather cushions and rested their arms on their own arm-rest between them.
Little nuggets of information like this are sprinkled throughout the book:
You mustn't say 'down on the right'. We're all sailors now. You must say 'to starboard' - that's naval language for 'right'. And at sea, 'left' is 'port'. He twirled the wheel to the left so that CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG swirled to the left. "Now we're going to port.". He turned the wheel to the right. "Now we're going to starboard. Quite easy to remember. 'Port' and 'left' both have fewer letters in them than 'right' and 'starboard'. Got it?