Monday, 21 September 2015

Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise

The Brilliant Surprise

Written by Daniel Postgate
Published by Ladybird Books

Slide whistles at the ready, as the Clangers are back for a nostalgic space trip! Unfortunately I can't remember the original Clangers (their first appearance was over 45 years ago!), but luckily for a new generation, a new revamped version of the Clangers has appeared on our TV screens. And The Brilliant Surprise is their first ever picture book, written by Oliver Postgate's son, Daniel Postgate. If your noggin needs a refresher here's a trailer for the new series.

In The Brilliant Surprise we find the Iron Chicken looking out to space for interesting things. Then she spots something, something very INTERESTING. Tiny Clanger receives the news on her special radio hat that 'It's coming'. She tells her brother, Small and he rushes around telling everyone of the great news and they all get excited by what's on its way. But Tiny is confused at what they're all getting excited about, and her brother Small won't tell her. 

The Clangers, soup dragons, Froglets and other creatures all gather to sing, hoot and moo 'It's coming! It's coming' but poor little Tiny is none the wiser until a huge comet whizzles over the Clangers planet. Tiny is told to make a wish as her brother Small had done when the last comet had visited. But what had he wished for? A lovely little sister just like Tiny.

I was pleased to find that this first picture book was hand drawn rather than being stills of the puppets. The illustrations here are by illustrator Irina Golina who does a great job of capturing all the familiar characters an scenes. With a useful spread introducing all the characters (helpful for a new fan like me!) and a note at the beginning of the book from Peter Firmin, co-creator of the show. There's plenty for young and old alike to love here, with a warming story that is reminiscent of what the TV show is known for. 

Their picture book debut shows the Clangers do work brilliantly in a picture book format, being a joy to read (slide whistle optional) and stunning to look at - a lovely gift for any Clangers fan. Clangers: The Brilliant Surprise is out now at all good bookshops and available to buy on the Ladybird website.

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