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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 04/13/08
Ian Fleming is best known for James Bond who appeared in twelve novels and nine short stories and spawned a movie franchise but he also wrote a children's novel called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car (1964). The novel was later adapted into a film (1968) staring Dick Van Dyke.
Except for the car, the book is a very different story from the film. The car in both the book and film can fly and seems to be alive. Fans of the film though might be disappointed by the simplicity of the book. Here the Potts family go head to head with gangsters in France after flying to an island to spend a day at the beach.
What makes the book special beyond seeing a different side to Ian Fleming is the artwork by John Burningham. His multimedia illustrations help bring Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to life. I have to admit to enjoying Burningham's illustrations more than the story itself.
I've read this to both of my boys and love it everytime. I made sure we read the book before they saw the movie, so of course they think the book's better:-) The illustrations are definately half the fun of the book."