cover image Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time

Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. by Joe Berger. Candlewick, $15.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5982-0

Boyce’s second sequel to Ian Fleming’s original novel picks up where the 2012 book left off, with the discovery that the Tooting family’s flying car has a highly unusual gear, which allows its occupants to travel back and forth in time. Unfortunately, the “Chronojuster” delivers the Tootings to the Cretaceous period, and at the feet of a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex. Events get increasingly more perilous as mother, father, Lucy, Jem, and Little Harry must repeatedly use their wits to avoid death by anaconda, escape the police in Prohibition-era Manhattan, and rescue their car from the residents of the legendary El Dorado. Ostensibly, Chitty (as the Tootings affectionately call their sentient vehicle) is seeking something—a reunion with Count Zborowski, the car’s original owner, or perhaps a second meeting with Commander Pott, the inventor who restored Chitty in Fleming’s book—but that quest is not fulfilled in volume two. Indeed, this installment ends with another cliffhanger. Readers are unlikely to mind, though, since life with the Tootings is the wildest Sunday drive imaginable. Ages 9–12. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Mar.)