Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Amanda and I read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for my own Read Together summer mission, and specifically selected this title because of the Before There Was Disney challenge hosted by Toddled Dredge encouraging us to read the book version of a movie (read the other reviews here). Just like Mary Poppins, we had seen the movie and the Broadway show, so I really wanted to read the book. Amanda and I read together, but not aloud. As usual, she zipped through it first, then I tagged along and finally finished it up. We both liked it a lot (more than the movie for sure, and slightly less than the Broadway show is my opinion--which is actually my same conclusion of Mary Poppins).

Even though we did not read it aloud, Amanda said, "Tell them that it would be a good read-aloud." I agree completely. Unlike Little Women, which we are still slowly going through, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fits my criteria of being short (112 pages), suspenseful, and dramatic. Here's an excerpt (the ellipses are where I condensed):

Then (...) one by one they dozed off for a little rest before doing some more swimming and hunting for treasures.
BUT--
BUT--
BUT--

No one noticed that the tide was creeping in over the sands (...)

And no one realized that soon, very very soon, the whole family, Command Pott, Mimsie, Jeremy, and Jemima--and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who by now was really a member of the family, too--would be marooned out in the middle of the sea--THREATENED WITH MORTAL DANGER!!!!!

Like most books written in a different time (this was published in 1964), you might come across a word or phrase that is now considered inappropriate, such as "idiot" or "stupid" or "shut up," but you can be sure that you will encounter a lot less sass than you find in children's novels today.

Please remember that if you are participating in Read Together that you need to link any reviews of books you have read this summer or thoughts on your general experience HERE. The deadline is Sunday August 26th and the prizes will be posted on Monday August 27th.

9 comments:

Veronica Mitchell said...

I am in the middle of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang right now, and I am loving it. Just the right mixture of danger and childhood innocence. And you're right - it would read aloud well.

Thanks for participating.

Joyful Days said...

This is one I plan on reading with the boys this year.

We loved the Mary Poppins series and Alice in Wonderland was another where we loved the book so much more.

Carrie said...

Ok good to know! We borrowed the movie from someone, my BIL got to it first and dissuaded us from watching it ourselves, and so I just figured the story was dumb. But it sounds like it would be fun to read with J2 (when he's much older, of course). Thanks for the recommendation. And thank Amanda, too!

Corinne said...

Thanks for the reminder on this. I loved the movie as a kid but have never read the book. Will keep it in mind to recommend to my 9 year old - I'm currently trying to get her interested in Nancy Drew, another series I devoured at her age.

painted maypole said...

I had wanted to read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the challenge as well, but I couldn't get it from the library until just today. I'm still going to read it, though. Your review just made me look forward to it more!

Katrina said...

I read this one as a child, but haven't really thought about it since. I should pick up a copy to read with Camden -- I think he'd enjoy it. Thanks for this review. I know I need to get my Read Together post up soon...

Heather said...

Confession: I adore this movie but didn't even know it was based on a book. I may have to go get it, even if I don't have a kid to whom to read it.

Luisa Perkins said...

Great suggestion for our read-aloud list. Thanks!

Gina Conroy said...

I have the book somewhere on my shelf, but can't imagine it being better than the movie. Guess I need to crack it open!