Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Our rating: ***½

Commander Potts is an explorer and inventor, but he doesn’t have much money. He wants to buy his family a car, so he invents some amazing whistling candies and sells them. Then, his whole family picks out a broken down old car, which Commander Potts fixes up in his workshop. When they take a ride to the seaside to try it out, the car, christened Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, has a few magical surprises up its, uh, radiator!

“Oho,” you say, “just like the movie!” Well, not exactly. No General Bomburst, no child-catcher, and Mr. Potts is already married. In fact, the book bears almost no resemblance to the movie. But give the book some credit, after all, it came first! (Am I here to review the book? Oh, yeah.) Anyway, I have only one problem with this book: It’s too short, and a bit too coincidental (okay, that was two problems). Lots of fun, absorbing, and it’s short (did I say that already?), so it only takes a couple hours to read.