Saturday, October 08, 2011

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang takes to the road!

7 October 2011, marked the publication of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again and to celebrate, the sparkling new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang VW camper van has set off on tour.
Members of the Fleming family and Macmillan Children’s Books held a champagne reception at the publishers’ offices to wave Frank off in style on his journey around the country. Over the next few weeks Frank will be visiting schools, libraries, bookshops and literary festivals in his very own souped-up VW camper van, similar to the van in the new adventure and based on the cover illustration of the book by Joe Berger. 
Children across the country are asked to be on the look out for Chitty and will be able to spot her at special locations throughout the tour, starting today, including Cheltenham Literature Festival, Wimbledon Literature Festival, the Discovery Story Centre in Stratford, the Canterbury Heritage Museum in Kent and schools in Southampton and Winchester. Keep abreast of the increasing list of tour destinations on the dedicated website,, where you can post your own pictures of Chitty and enjoy other Tooting family puzzles and games (whatever age you are).  
The website contains the background to the car that inspired Ian Fleming to write the original magical tale. Readers will also be able to find out more about the author of the new adventures, Frank Cottrell Boyce, through a biography and video of him talking about the book.
The novel is published almost fifty years after Ian Fleming, author of James Bond, wrote the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, for his son, Caspar. The bestselling British children’s author and scriptwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce was invited by the Fleming family to write a new series of adventures and has enjoyed sharing Chitty's new escapades with his own children.
Cottrell Boyce, award-winning author of Millions, Framed and Cosmic, has set his story in the present day, giving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a twenty-first-century lease of life. At the heart of the book is the Tooting family, who discover a massive, ancient racing-car engine and use it to soup up their VW camper van. Before they know it they are zooming around the world as Chitty comes to life again and is restored to her former glory. The new book is illustrated with black-and-white line drawings by the illustrator and animator Joe Berger.
Frank Cottrell Boyce’s first book, Millions, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2004 and was shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. Millions was also made into a movie directed by Danny Boyle (the screenplay written by Frank). Frank’s second novel, Framed, followed the success of Millions, being shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award and the Guardian Prize. It was made into a feature-length drama, broadcast on BBC1 in 2009 (the screenplay written by Frank). Cosmic, published in June 2008, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize. 
About the author:
Frank is also an established British screenwriter whose credits include God on Trial, Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie and 24 Hour Party People. Frank is also part of the team devising the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games, alongside Danny Boyle. He lives in Merseyside with his family.
Joe Berger is a children's author, illustrator and cartoonist who has been selected as one of the winners for the Booktrust Best New Illustrators Award 2011. He makes award-winning animated short films and title sequences and is co-creator of the Berger & Wyse food cartoon in the Guardian magazine each Saturday. In 2010 Joe was the official illustrator for World Book Day. He lives in  with his wife and three daughters.
Ian Fleming’s passion for cars is well known from his Bond novels and he gave it free rein when creating Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, a tale that he originally made up as a bedtime story for his young son, Caspar. When Fleming later had a heart attack and was forbidden from using his typewriter by his wife, who had ordered him to rest, he wrote out the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stories in longhand, instead of working on his new Bond novel. Fleming died less than two months before the book was published in 1964. It was illustrated by John Burningham and dedicated to the real Chitty Bang Bang, built by the eccentric racing-car driver Count Zborowski. It was this novel that provided the basis for the highly successful, much-loved 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and more recently the stage show of the same name. 

·        Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again was published in hardback and ebook on 7 October 2011, priced £10.99 and £9.99 respectively, by Macmillan Children’s Books in the UK and Commonwealth 

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