Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2012 Unlike other trendy returns to classic British stories, such as Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006), this isn’t a narrative sequel to Ian Fleming’s 1964 children’s book—the Tootings, a modern-day, biracial family of five, have never even heard of a flying car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (In real life, the eponymous Disney movie should at least ring a bell.) Rather, the esteemed Boyce revisits the general concept of auto-aerial exploits as their camper van, rehabbed with a mysterious old engine found in a junkyard tree, flies the Tootings across the globe, dodging evildoers and reassembling itself with missing pieces, such as headlights from the Eiffel Tower. Like Fleming’s (whose family authorized this effort) original, this includes black-and-white spot illustrations, and there are references to his book in the structure and names. But the tone is contemporary, becoming much more Lemony Snickety as the plot progresses. The novel stands on its own as a satisfying, fresh family adventure, and readers will look forward to two forthcoming volumes. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With a deluxe press kit, national publicity campaign, extensive social media outreach, and much more, this is due to receive a fanfare befitting the sequel to a classic. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2012 Much to the distress of Lucy, Jem, and Little Harry Tooting, their father has been laid off from Very Small Parts for Very Big Machines. Hoping to keep the wacky inventor occupied, Mrs. Tooting provides him with a beat-up old camper to restore, and her husband pops in a super-charged engine that he finds at a scrap lot and declares the upgraded camper the perfect vehicle to take on a worldwide vacation. With its new engine, though, the camper has its own itinerary in mind, and the Tootings’ trip takes a few detours as their automobile transforms from camper to airplane to submarine while narrowly escaping the clutches of foreign governments and unseemly bank robbers, all of whom are interested in the car’s amazing abilities. The details sound familiar because Boyce’s modernized sequel to Ian Fleming’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ?faithfully reflects the elements of the original, and the nods to Fleming’s book and the subsequent movie make this retread of the ultimate family road trip even more enjoyable. Fans of either interpretation will recognize Chitty’s characteristic temperament, as well as the quick mentions of Count Louis Zborowski, the car’s original engineer, and the Potts family, its former owners. The Tootings, however, hold their own when it comes to aptitude for zany adventures, so even readers with no knowledge of Dick Van Dyke or Truly Scrumptious will want to tag along for the family’s run-ins with car-obsessed thieves, giant squids, and rogue spies. Berger’s energetic line-and-wash illustrations depict a thoroughly modern biracial family, completing the successful retooling of a beloved classic. Mr. Potts would be proud. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2012 Gr 3–6—The Tootings are your average 21st-century British nuclear family: there's Dad, recently laid off from his job assembling tiny things; Mum, who works at Unbeatable Motoring Bargains; Lucy, a teen always clad in black; Jem, who tries to keep his head down; and Little Harry, the youngest. To distract Dad, who suddenly has too much time on his hands and is driving everyone crazy, Mum brings home a decrepit pop-top 1966 camper van for him to fix up. When he and Jem find a giant old engine at a junkyard and install it in the vehicle, suddenly it has a mind of its own—not to mention a pair of green and chrome wings that may be familiar to some readers. Although the story is inventive and picturesque, with billionaire crooks, a visit to Madagascar, and a guest appearance on a French reality show called Car Stupide, most of the humor in this very funny novel is a result of the family's interactions with one another. Occasional British terms ("lift," "motorway"), while initially puzzling, are quickly made clear by the context. Berger's lively cartoon illustrations depict each phase of Chitty's reincarnation in loving detail and bring the resourceful Tootings to life. This witty sequel to Ian Fleming's 1964 novel stands on its own equally well—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.