Hachette Children's Group has signed a picture book adaptation of Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to be written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Steve Antony.
The book, which is the only children’s book from the creator of James Bond, is about a magical flying car. Written by Fleming for his young son Caspar, it was originally published in 1964 by Jonathan Cape, two months after the author died.
World rights were acquired by HCG group picture book publisher Emma Layfield and HCG senior publisher Anne McNeil in a deal done with Gordon Wise at the Curtis Brown Group on behalf of Ian Fleming Publications, Jodie Hodges at United Agents for Bently and Elizabeth Roy at Elizabeth Roy Literary Agency for Antony.
McNeil said: "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a classic story that truly touches the hearts of families. Peter Bentley’s adaptation of Ian Fleming’s original text will introduce the story to a new generation, and Steve Antony’s gorgeous artwork brings it beautifully to life."
A statement from Ian Fleming Publications read: "We’re delighted to work with Hachette Children’s Group to make Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang come alive for younger readers. And the creative team in charge of remodelling Chitty are second to none; we can’t wait to see them work their magic and watch Chitty soar to new, unexplored heights."
Bently said: "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been a favourite of mine since childhood. I am both delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to bring the great Ian Fleming’s amazing flying car to a picture book audience."
Antony added: "As a child, I loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Never in a million years did I imagine that I'd one day be asked to illustrate a 21st- century Chitty for a whole new generation of children to enjoy. I feel extremely honoured."
Bently and Antony's picture book adaptation will first publish in hardback in autumn 2020, with the paperback following in autumn 2021.