SOURCE: Candlewick Press

Candlewick Press

October 15, 2014 17:03 ET

Ian Fleming's Treasured Children's Classic CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG: THE MAGICAL CAR Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary in October 2014

A Deluxe New Gift Edition Featuring John Burningham's Vibrant, Full-Color Original Illustrations Marks the Publishing Event

SOMERVILLE, MA--(Marketwired - October 15, 2014) - Famous for creating James Bond, Ian Fleming also loved fast cars -- and this passion inspired him to write his only children's book, penned for his young son, Caspar.

Published fifty years ago in 1964, (originally in three volumes by Jonathan Cape in London) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car introduced the world to the thrilling adventures of the "crackpot" Pott family and the flying car with a mind of her own. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang became an instant bestseller that has been reinvented as a musical and a film (with a screenplay co-written by Roald Dahl) and has also inspired three sequels written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, also published by Candlewick Press.

Fleming himself did not live to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang published: he suffered a heart attack on in August 1964 and died in the early morning of the following day -- his son Caspar's twelfth birthday -- in Kent. The book was published two months after his death.

Now, to honor half a century of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fleming's only entre into children's fiction, Candlewick Press presents a full-color gift edition ready to zoom straight into hearts of a new generation with lush full color original artwork by John Burningham which the Los Angeles Times described as, "a revelation, pulsing with both menace and possibility." Reviewer David Ulin from the LA Times went on to declare, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a mind of its own, and all the Pott family can do is give themselves over to it. In that regard, it's more than a little bit like fate. This is why the book holds up, 50 years after its original publication: its sense of the world as an inexplicable but also miraculous place."

Families who continue to enjoy the film may want to prepare to revisit this classic adventure in a film-to book-reversal for the next generation. The new edition is available and in bookstores nationally and illustrator John Burningham, who still houses the original book art in his studio, is marking the release with an international press tour this fall. 

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Chitty Chitty Bang Bang & Creator Ian Fleming

  1. Fleming owned a house in Jamaica, which he named Goldeneye. He wrote all of the Bond novels there.
  1. He borrowed the names of people he knew for characters in his novels.
  1. James Bond himself is named after an ornithologist who wrote 'Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies', a bird watching book that Fleming had with him in Jamaica. He wanted a 'boring' name, suitable for a 'blunt instrument' of the government such as 007.
  1. He had strong views on road safety and campaigned for more dramatic road signs.
  1. Chitty Bang Bang was the informal name of a series of celebrated English racing cars, built and raced by Count Louis Zborowski and his engineer Clive Gallop in the 1920s. Ian Fleming's Chitty is a composite of this car, and Fleming's own Standard Tourer, which he had driven in Switzerland in the late 1920s.
  1. The first draft of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang included a scene in which Chitty soars over the spire of Canterbury Cathedral. Fleming elected to remove this scene after taking Caspar to see the Disney film 'The Absent-Minded Professor', which featured a flying motor car, built by the eponymous professor, circling a church spire.
  1. The names of the villains that Chitty has to contend with in the story are Joe the Monster, Man-Mountain Fink, Soapy Sam and Blood-Money Banks.
  1. Fleming wrote CCBB whilst in hospital recovering from a heart attack -- it is based on the bedtime stories he used to tell his son Caspar.
  1. It was originally published in 3 volumes (Adventure 1, Adventure 2 and Adventure 3), a few weeks after Fleming's death, with illustrations by John Burningham.
  1. The musical film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, based on Fleming's book and released in 1968, was produced by James Bond producer, Albert R. Broccoli. The film was co-written by celebrated children's author, Roald Dahl.


Publication date 8/5/14 * Price: $22.00/$25.00 CAN * HC ISBN: 9780763666781

Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children's books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and 'Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where's Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at

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