I bought my copy of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming very recently and I must admit that it was the fact that it is illustrated by John Burningham which tempted me to buy this edition. I am trying to work my way through any children’s classics which I missed out on when I was actually a child. The book was first published in 1964, when I was only 5 years old and was probably aimed at kids who were a few years older than that.
However this is a really enjoyable read for children of all ages although if you’ve seen the film you might be a bit disappointed that the book is so different. There’s no Truly Scrumptious nor Grandfather and they don’t wheech off to a fairytale castle, although they do fly over to France. Unusually of course Ian Fleming didn’t get rid of the parents, the Pott children, Jeremy and Jemima have a father AND mother in the book, Caractacus and Mimsie, although the mother is so shadowy a character she might as well not be there at all. There is a Lord Skrumshus who owns a sweet factory though.
Obviously the film makers took a great idea and ran with it – off to an even crazier land than Fleming had imagined.
You can see images from the book here.