Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies AgainChitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

by Frank Cottrell Boyce

212 pages of car adventuring fun

In 1967 one of my favorite Christmas presents was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Flemming.  I loved the Potts.  I loved the whistling sweets.  I thought Joe the Monster and his gang were terribly wonderful crooks.  And of course, I loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with “her first two CHITTY sneezes and the two soft BANGS, the bangs ran on and into each other so as to make a delicious purring rumble.”   I thought her amazing dashboard with knobs that glow and flash urgently as the need arose had just the perfect balance of efficiency and irreverence.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a magical car with a mind of it’s own.  I loved everything about that book – right down to the secret recipe at the end!

Next came the movie.  What a major disappointment!  The car wasn’t even the right color.  To me, it was silly, dull and boring.  Frank Cottrell Boyce had a totally different experience.  He saw the movie first and loved it.  Then he read the book.  He writes that this was the first time he knew that “films and books  – even when they’re telling the same story – each had a different kind of enchantment.”

Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again does indeed have its own kind of enchantment.  It takes the best pieces from the original, mixes them together with new ideas and creates a wholly unique story that has the Tooting family traveling the world, escaping the clutches of greedy crooks (Man Mountain Fink’s son from the original gang) and learning all about their amazingly wonderful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.   Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is part of the family now and is teaching the Tootings to pay attention to each other, listen carefully and have trust in the power of family.

What a terrifically satisfying sequel!

Happy 101!!

 We are celebrating our 101st post on Kid’s Books 101 by sharing our first 101 books! Look closely at the picture and you’ll see some familiar titles.

Choose your favorite books, and start reading! 🙂 We look forward to sharing our next 101 titles! Let us know what you think and/or share a favorite title of your own. There can never be enough great books!

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If you would like to explore the number 101, here are some books for fun!

101 Doodle Definitions101 Things to Do with Bacon101 Ways to Become a Superhero . . . Or an Evil Genius

And a book especially for Mrs. Eaves…

101 Things to Do Before You're Old and Boring

(She says “It’s not too late yet”)

I don’t know…maybe you should read it.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives ExtraordinaireMr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!

translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath is laugh out loud funny from beginning to end.

As in all the Polly Horvath books I have read there is a uniquely functioning dysfunctional family situation.  In this case Madeline is more an adult than her parents.  She takes care of everything for them because they don’t seem to see the need for her traditional wishes to go to school, have friends or fit in.  They get kidnapped and it is up to Madeline to find them.  She knows she’ll have to because they don’t know how to do anything for themselves.  She does this with the help of rabbits.  She is able to talk to them because she is a one-of-a-kind person, “a Rabbit Whisperer.”  They are detectives and work to make sure she has what all children need – someone to take care of them.    Through many hilarious twists and turns they outsmart the foxes, break the code (sort of) and wear retro-purple sequin disco platforms in the process.

My favorite lines are, “I’ve often heard animals speak.  Plants too.  It’s all a matter of noticing, isn’t it?  The richness of our lives depends on what we are willing to notice and what we are willing to believe.”

So true – what do you notice?  What do you believe?  Enjoy reading while you wait for Everything on a Waffle‘s sequel to come out next fall.  Books by Polly Horvath are fun!

The Name of this Book is Secret

     X xxxxx.

     Xxxx?

     Xxx, Xxxx.

     Xxx xx xxxxxx xxx xxxxx…

That is the end of the first chapter. That’s how secret this book is. The whole first chapter is X’s and the names written are not the real names of the characters. Okay, now to the review.

Cass is a survivalist, always prepared for the next natural disaster. Max-Ernest is a logical boy, with an unidentified impulsive talking condition. Do you think that they would be “collaborators”? Probably not. But they are doing what they do best when they meet, and get mixed up in a dead magician’s story. Including a symphony of smells, an underground house and a two evil villains! Read The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch to find out what happens.

The Name of this Website is Secret includes a biography of Pseudonymous Bosch, all about the books and more. It’s awesome!!

The publisher’s version of the series website here.

Buy this book from Amazon.com! 🙂

This book is part of  “The Secret Series.” Here are all of the books:

Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
secret5
Book 5

Everything on a Waffle

Everything on a WaffleEverything on a Waffle

by Polly Horvath

176 pages for middle readers and beyond

Have you ever known something to be true; known with all your heart, but not had any proof?  Primrose Squarp knows that her parents are alive.  She knows they were not lost at sea in the terrible storm that came to Coal Harbour.  Everyone else, however, considers her an orphan.  At first they try to pay elderly Miss Perfidy to take care of her.  That doesn’t work very well.  Then the town finds Uncle Jack – the developer – but they don’t like him very much.  Miss Honeycut, the school counseler (who no one seems to like much either), has it in for Primrose and see that she becomes a ward of the state and put into foster care.  Only Miss Bowser, owner of the The Girl on the Red Swing, has time for Primrose, recognizes her sadness and understands the beauty of hope and joy when it seems there should be none. Miss Bowzer talks to her, teachers her to cook and knows that sometimes accidents happen – just because they are…accidents.

The charactes in this book are both funny and philosphical.  The books shows you there is mucht to be said for traveling, and at the same time there is much to be noticed about your own home town.  Having everything on a waffle may be ho-hum at home, but extraordinary for those who come to visit. You’ll love the characters and be surprised by how events unfold – or rather fall like dominoes, one after another after another.  You may even decide to try some of the recipes shared at the end of each chapter – perhaps chocolate covered cashews, tea biscuits (no mothballs please) or even waffles, because everything should come on a waffle.

Winner of the 2001 Boston Globe Hornbook Honor Award book for Fiction and Poetry  and a 2002 Newbery Honor Book.

I’ve decided that I am going to read all of Polly Horvath’s books over our next vacation break – well, as many as I can.  All that I have read are funny in a bittersweet way.  The characters are ordinary and yet, totally unique.  They stick with me and keep coming to mind with a flash of happiness and calm.  I’m curious.  You might be too.  You can learn more here at her website. I’ll let you know what I find.

Boy

Wow! Did this all happen? Well, according to Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl it did! This amazing 176 page book is an autobiography about all the adventures and mischief little Roald Dahl got into when he was a boy. From friendships to fantasies, Dahl covers it all. He helpfully splits the book up into sections of age, important points in his life and when those things happened. My favorite part of the book is when he and his friends dropped a mouse into the candy jar to pull a prank on the mean old lady who sold candy. It was my favorite part of the book because when the shop is closed the next day and they go to school, the mean old candy seller, Mrs. Pratchett is there and she accuses them of stealing and they get the cane.

 “’Arder!” shrieked a voice from over in the corner. Now it was our turn to jump.  We looked round and there, sitting in one of Mr Coombes’s big leather armchairs, was the tiny loathsome figure of Mrs Pratchett!” That is a excerpt from the book in the chapter entitled Mrs Pratchett’s Revenge. This effectively showcases the spectacular vocabulary, laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful writing that is in this fantastic book. If you are a boy or girl, who likes humor, real life adventures and learning new words in your stories then this is the book for you.

George’s Marvelous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine first edition.jpgGeorge's Marvelous Medicine

George Kranky lives with his Mother, Father and Grandmother on a farm. When George is alone in the house with his Grandmother, she is rude and mean to him. She tells him that if he is selfish, he will shrink and if he wants to grow, he  has to eat some cabbage!! Ugh!!  She is the most selfish person George knows, so he thinks that she should get a taste of her new medicine. You see, his Grandmother has to take her medicine periodically, so why not make a new one for her. So George follows no specific recipe, just adds a little bit of this and a little bit of that, some toothpaste and some antifreeze and violá! Her new medicine is born! Read this book and see the spectacular affect that it causes.

***Notice that “Marvelous” is spelled differently on both covers. The alternate spelling is “Marvellous”. Maybe this is because that is the version from the UK. Maybe.

Click HERE for the Official Roald Dahl website where you can find games, lots of stuff about Roald Dahl and much more!

Watch and hear a clip from the audiobook version of George’s Marvelous Medicine:

Click HERE for RoaldDahlFans.com which has everything, if not more than the Official Roald Dahl Site. It even includes stuff for teachers!