Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to fly again in new books

First edition of Ian Fleming's Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang
(Reuters) - James Bond creator Ian Fleming's other famous invention, the magical car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is set to fly again with the publication of a new series of adventures by children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Fleming's estate, which has already found success with authorised spinoffs of the James Bond series, has decided to re-launch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with three new novels, the first of which is due for release on November 4.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again will be published in Britain by Macmillan Children's Books and set in the present day.

The plot will centre around the Tooting family, who discover an old racing car engine and use it to supe up their camper van.

"Before they know it they are zooming around the world as Chitty comes to life again and is restored to her former glory," the estate said in a statement.

The new books will be illustrated by Joe Berger.

Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, a tale he originally made up as a bedtime story for his young son Caspar, was published in 1964, two months after the author died.

It was illustrated by John Burningham and dedicated to the real Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, built by the eccentric racing-car driver Count Zborowski.

The story is probably best known through the 1968 musical film adaptation in which Dick Van Dyke plays eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts.

"I have no idea what made the Flemings think of asking me to write the sequel. I haven't asked them in case it's all a case of mistaken identity," Boyce said.

"I went back to the book for the first time since I was a boy and was delighted to discover that, first of all, it's really good and, secondly, it's crying out for a sequel.

"I've had a lot of fun writing these books, but somewhere amongst all the fun I found it strangely emotional to revisit myself as a boy and ask if he could help me restore an old-fashioned contraption and make it fly again," Boyce said.

Boyce is a British children's novelist and scriptwriter who has worked with movie directors including Michael Winterbottom and Danny Boyle.

Author Frank Cottrell Boyce

UPDATE: Click here for a first look at the new Chitty. You can also pre-order the first book now at Amazon.co.uk.

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