From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is back, traveling through time with the Tootings. They are connected to the present day via a "jelly phone" through which they learn that evil villains have set up shop in their home. Chitty is up to her usual tricks, leading the family through an adventure that flies by at an almost frenetic pace. Readers are slyly fed facts about the times and places the travelers visit, including 1920s New York City and the Amazon. On the adventure to find the Potts, Chitty's first family, they wind up in the mythical city of El Dorado, where, after being dissasembled and reassembled, the people gild Chitty, dubbing her Chitty Chitty Bling Bling. After a brief stint at home to tie up loose plot threads (evil villains included), the story ends with the Tootings stuck in London in 1966, clearly leaving the door open for another installment. Much of the story is told through dialogue. While the action-oriented plot might appeal to reluctant readers, they are likely to find it hard to comprehend who is doing all the talking as the family races through time. Characters and plot points don't feel fully fleshed out, which contributes to the frenzied feel. Fun, but not a core purchase.-Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MNα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Following Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (2012)—Boyce’s authorized first sequel to Ian Fleming’s 1964 original title—the Tooting family’s adventures with their time-traveling, tricked-out, sometimes capricious automobile continue, beginning with car trouble in a prehistoric jungle. Escaping bloodthirsty T. rexes is one thing, but returning to their present-day British home becomes extra-urgent upon learning villainous Tiny Jack and his henchwoman, Nanny, have appropriated their abode, with nefarious plans afoot. But getting back’s filled with narrow escapes and escapades through history, including a bullet-whizzing car chase with hooch-patrolling police in 1920s New York. With time dwindling to save the world from Tiny Jack, past and present collide with unexpected results. Featuring a near-dizzying array of characters—including a reunion with suave first Chitty owner Mr. Zborowski—and events, from car races to kidnapping to run-ins with anacondas, this is a lively, entertaining read that those familiar with the previous title will especially enjoy. Digitally rendered, cartoonish illustrations add retro flair. Grades 3-6. --Shelle Rosenfeld