Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Written by Ian Fleming
Illustrated by Joe Berger
A splendid adventure story in the best British tradition! After four opening paragraphs explaining that not all cars are mere conglomerations of steel and wire and rubber and plastic (thus priming even the youngest first and second graders to expect a tale of a very special car) the real story begins, as all fairy tales have begun since times immemorial: “Once upon a time….
There was a family called Pott. There was father Caractacus, mother Mimsie, and twins, Jeremy and Jemima, and they lived together perfectly happily in a house in the woods beside a big lake, with the main motorway running all the way to the sea on the other side of the lake. So they could travel to far away places. But, they do not own a car, nor have the money to buy one.
How they get Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and how the car gets that name, are interesting stories in themselves. Suffice to say, broken down wreck (splendid, magical) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang arrives in their lives, and soon becomes a member of the family. They are off on wondrous adventures for as Papa Potts says, “ Never say no to adventures. Always say yes. Otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a car with a heart (willingly given to the family that saved her from the wrecker’s yard). She is now responsible for her family and races to their rescue whenever she perceives them in danger, whether they recognize they are in danger or not. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the book is a classic that belongs on all reading lists.