Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate

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Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: When Small Clanger discovers that a surprise is on its way she wants to know all about it, but no one will say exactly what it is. Join the Clangers and the Soup Dragons in this quaint adventure that evokes the feeling of the show, both new and old.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2015
Publisher: Ladybird
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780241195987

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There is no such thing as nostalgia anymore as all the classic children's TV shows of the past have been pulled out of retirement, dusted off and made anew. The Clangers are one of the latest IPs to be visited by the resurrectionists and the new show has proved very popular. It has now spawned spin off toys and books, but how do you write a book about a bunch of creatures that we cannot understand?

This task was given to Daniel Postgate, the son of the original developer of the show, who, as well as writing this book, works on the new show. Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise is a typical adventure on the little blue planet (earth) as Small Clanger looks forward to a big surprise, but what is it? Granny, Major, Mother and Tiny seem to know, but Small will just have to wait and find out.

The Clangers is a gentle and sweet TV show and it is great that the book continues this tradition. Surprise is essentially a book that gives the reader a chance to see all of their favourite characters again as Small asks each resident what is going to happen, but they tell her that she will just have to wait. When the surprise does come, it is spectacular looking on the page, but also heart-warming for an adult. It evokes thoughts of time passing, watching your children grow up and one sibling looking after another.

The illustrations are great, capturing the essence of the TV, whilst still remaining distinctly a book. As this is a book set mostly with space in the background the dark blues and sparkling stars really jump from the page, especially on some of the more dynamic double-page spreads. The last pages, in particular, catch the eye and will have a younger child staring at the different colours.

A toddler who likes to sit down and watch The Clangers will get a lot from this book, as it does feel like an episode on the page. Those who do not watch it often will get slightly less, as Postgate spends time bringing in all the characters and this cause a gentle pace that is almost too slow. Also, it did feel odd to have a book that didn't use the traditional narrator of the show but instead translated the Clanger speak into English. One of the major selling points of the TV experience is the whistle language, this can never be replicated on the page and therefore it does not quite have the same charm. Still a great gift for the 3-6-year-old fan of Tiny and Small Clangers.

A great for sharing book that uses odd language is The Farmer's Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy or check out a book from one of the original comeback kids Where's Noddy?: Pull-the-tab Surprise Book by Enid Blyton. We also enjoyed Friends in the Snow by Daniel Postgate and Sam Childs.

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Buy Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise by Daniel Postgate at


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Cliff Sinclair said:

The little blue planet is earth NOT the clangers planet.

Editor said: