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on 3 November 2002
I was going to give this book three stars. After all, it missed my fave show ever Ace of Wands. But after spending a weekend with the book, and therefore its author, I came to realise that humour and truthful comments was more important. The jokes come thick and fast and Lewis's observations are perceptive and well worth the money. I (sadly) read it cover to cover and laughed all the way. Thanks. A great trip down memory lane and a really funny way to spend a weekend. MW.
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on 1 May 2006
I am a great reader of this type of book and looked forward to maybe having somthing a bit definitive. However this book did not give what it's title so readily declared. The author seems stuck in the nostalgia of the 1970's and seems to ignore most of the later children's programmes. He mentions that he will not review Henry's Cat because nobody he talked remembered it. That's not being an encyclopedia. It would have been better if he had spent his time examining just one decades T.v. merits maybe going into a bit more depth.

The bias in this book is also astounding, it appears that he believes that his tastes are everybodies tastes. Occasionally you boggle at the attitude and wonder how this managed to get published.

My advice is borrow it from the library and spend your money on something a bit more professional.
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on 9 July 2005
I was really looking forward to this book, to curl up and indulge myself in some some nice cosy nostalgia. Unfortunately the only memories the book managed to stir was some nasty deja-vous relating to the avalanche of similar books I have encountered recently, attempting to cash in on our lost childhoods.
Richard Lewis has called the book the 'encyclopaedia of cult children's tv' which I would particularly take issue with. Firstly it is not an encyclopaedia by any stretch of the imagination. If you read many of the other reviews of the book on this site even those that reviewed it positively take issue with the referencing element of the book. Primarily the encycopedic element is used to make comical links, ie 'Blue Peter's Richard Bacon - See Noseybonk' etc. Not exactly informative and on the whole not very funny.
The idea that this is some kind of account of cult children's tv has to be pretty much dismissed as well. Nowhere is 'cult' defined, one could suggest primarily because the author doesn't know what it means. I get the distict impression from the content that the book started as one thing and over time just kind of morphed into the published article, either from pressure from the publisher or general lack of focus. The book is very much cartoon focused, with little information on the wealth of children's drama and factual programmes that existed in the roughly 30 years it attempts to cover. Even the un-animated programmes it does mention, like Grange Hill which really couldn't be ommitted, are really reviewed in a way which suggests the author just missed the point somewhere along the line. Grange Hill is summerised in six paragraphs, two of which are about Roland Browning. Why exactly? The mind boggles.
Despite the cartoon emphasis those covered are hardly cult classics, with an distinct over emphasis on Hanna-Barbara stuff. Yes we all enjoyed Hong Kong Phooey, but I fail to see how you could even attempt to cover cult kids cartoons without so much a mention of He-Man, Mask or Transformers. The whole of the book is riddled with holes, where you go to look up a old memory, such as Jossy's Giants or Cities of Gold or whatever you loved when you were a kid and find it conspicuously missing.
Overal this book is just poor grade nostalgia cash-in fluff. If you're looking for a book that meanders on about how great bagpuss was and lists all the firemen in Trumpton then maybe you'd enjoy this. However if you're looking for something with any substance, structure, factrual basis or indeed something vaguely funny then really, honestly, give this a miss. You'll be very disapointed with it.
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on 17 February 2010
The Encyclopaedia Of Cult Children's Tv is a good book even though a lot of the programs I remember aren't in it. Where is "Sara & Hoppity. A series of puppet stories highly popular with children about a girl, Sara, and her doll. The doll has one leg shorter than the other hence the name Hoppity. Which was created in 1961, Daktari, White Horses & Do Not Adjust Your Set to name but a few. Instead there are a load of shows I have never heard of.
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on 2 November 2003
This book is superb. Alright so some of the names are spelt wrongly, but I've finally found someone who shares my view on Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds (I was young at the time and loved it)
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on 4 September 2016
Another fantastic book which takes you right back to your childhood.
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on 8 December 2015
Brilliant book.
Really good to dip in and out of.
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on 9 January 2008
I sat in a packed room reading this creased over laughing much to the alarm of the strangers around me who clearly thought I'd escaped from somewhere.

Being a child of the 70's this book hit so many marks with its spot on observations of classic TV. I've read, re read and re read it again so many times but each time is like the first. It's like a voyage through all that was good and utter pants about TV and Richard's witty, sharp, irreverent and downright funny comments make it 1st class all the way.

One line in particular quoted at the beginning of the book I'm thinking of having engraved on my tombstone when I shuffle off:
"Mutley get me out of this cream puff!" - Dick Dastardly
I'm laughing now as I'm typing - yes, there are programmes omitted but I prefer to see it as a glass half full book and just take delight in what is there. I'm sure it would be impossible to list all the children's TV programmes that could have been included so obviously some favourites will be missing but it doesn't detract from the brilliance of the book.

Richard, if you're writing a sequel and you need an assistant to sharpen your pencils get in touch!
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on 4 February 2009
This book would have been much better to have the shows / characters listed in date order, rather than alphabetical.
A lack of index in years, and a laziness in the repetitive content relating to secondary characters in the show, left me immensely dissapointed.
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