Chitty Chitty Bank Bang Over the Moon (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang #4), by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Eight stars

  The excitement continues in this final instalment of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang series, as Frank Cottrell Boyce pushes the reader to their limits. Stuck in 1966 without a vehicle, the Tootings have little hope of retrieving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from Tiny Jack and Nanny. Mr. Tooting surmises that their only hope will be to locate Commander Pott and the rest of the family, who could destroy the original vehicle, thereby keeping it from ever having fallen into the hands of nefarious villains. They locate the Commander as he rushes away in the original car, but before they have time to contemplate their options, the Tootings discover that the clock tower of the Houses of Westminster (yes, the one holding Big Ben) has been turned into a makeshift aircraft, circling the earth. Subsequent events help the reader to realise that the Commander and Mrs. Pott are aboard the tower, along with Baby Harry. Teaming up with Jeremy and Jemima Pott, the Tootings soon discover that Commander Pott is trying to reach out to them to explain the dastardly plan Tiny Jack has put into motion. With a revamped 1960s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Tootings and Pott children work together and head out for the North Pole, only to be caught in yet another web laid for them by Nanny. It is at this point that Tiny Jack reveals all; that he has hopes of taking Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the moon to add to his cause célèbre. Through a series of dastardly games and revelations the Tootings and Potts must work together to turn the tides, or Tiny Jack and Nanny will add another layer to their growing legacy of infamy, leaving the world unable to stop them and Chitty firmly in their grasp. The fastest and most complex of all the stories, Cottrell Boyce leaves little time for the reader to catch their breath before delivering the final punch!

From the ‘chronojuster’ to Count Zborowski and even into the world of lost-cities, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang series has taken the reader through time, space, and into the far-reaching crevices of the heart. When I started the series as a buddy read, I was not sure I would be pulled in, but had agreed to something a little light-hearted. Now that we have reached the end, it is as if I am slightly deflated that this zooming vehicle of multiple permutations has finally left for good. As with the previous sequels, Cottrell Boyce pulls together many of the exciting characters and storylines to keep the reader hooked on what is going on. This story is surely the most complex and action-filled, as it deals with time and space travels, as well as trying to tie off all the loose ends laid out in past books. There is a sense of finality that will allow the reader some semblance of peace, though the door remains open just a little to the possible return of Chitty and some of the characters. From the Pott Family through to the Tootings, both Ian Fleming and Frank Cottrell Boyce have laid the groundwork for a wonderful children’s series that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed all four books and would recommend it to anyone, either as a solo, group, or buddy read.
Kudos, Mr. Cottrell Boyce for taking up the series and allowing a new generation of readers to explore the magic of all things Chitty!