The Tooting family finds itself in a position that many families are experiencing these days-- the father has lost his job. Since he is clever and upbeat, he has decided this is an Opportunity and takes to unemployment with a flourish, but his family decides he needs a project. They get an old camper van which the mother thinks can't possibly be fixed, and tell the father that when it is fixed, they will travel around the world. Of course, he does fix it, so Jem, Lucy, little Harry and the parents take off on a trek around the world. It is soon apparent that Chitty, who has the engine of the car from the book by Ian Fleming, is on a mission to restore itself with original parts, so the family finds themselves in all sorts of unusual places, including sitting near the Sphinx in Egypt selling pancakes! They also meet an assortment of villians along the way, including the Circe-like Nanny who tries to get them to stay for a very long while at Chateau Bateau while she destroys the car. The Tootings, however, are nothing if not motivated and clever, and manage to escape. What will Chitty's next adventure be?
The Tootings are a fun, resourceful family, and the adventure is well plotted. The different places to which they travel are interesting.