Peachtree Publishers Book Tour
Alex T. Smith
Press Release: Claude is a dog. Claude is a small dog. Claude is a small, plump dog who wears a beret and a lovely red sweater. Every day when Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes go off to work, Claude and his best friend Sir Bobblysock (who is both a sock and very bobbly), decide what adventure they will have that day. Claude and Sir Bobblysock go to the city for the very first time. They have a delightfully ordinary day. They peruse the local shops, have tea in a café, and visit a museum. When Claude stumbles upon and ultimately (accidentally), foils a robbery, ordinary turns to extraordinary.
First Sentence: This is Claude. Say hello, Claude.
Wow! The above is just the first chapter of this two chapter book. Claude and his friend Sir Bobblysock are oblivious to their human surroundings. Maybe because they are both short, but while taking a casual walk around the city, often jaywalking, Claude mistakes the words and gestures of cab drivers and pedestrians for friendly ones and waves in response. Claude enjoys watching the pigeons, which look to be taking an oddly keen interest in Claude and Sir Bobblysock.
The cat is out of the bag for the first chapter. You know he helps foil a robbery. Claude visits a museum and just misses seeing the robber steal the valuable statue. Claude did not miss the thief after lunch when, while carrying four boxes of newly purchased berets, he collides with the escaping thief. Case closed.
The second chapter is another day in the life of Claude and Sir Bobblysock. Okay, that might be wrong. Sir Bobblysock will not wake up. Not when Claude prods him with a bone, or when Claude takes his temperature—with a banana, the preferred instrument of every canine. Claude takes his best friend to the hospital, trying to save his life. It is there that he meets a group of wrestlers, all sick with the same mysterious ailment.
While Doctor Ivan Achinbum (please repeat the good doctor’s name quickly, without pause), takes Bobblysock out for a test, Clause spies a white coat just waiting for someone to put on and pretend to be a doctor. Claude cannot resist. But when a nurse enters the room insisting Doctor Claude attend to an emergency (Claude really did try to get out of it), Claude tries his best to do no harm. What is the imperative emergency? Can Doctor Claude find a cure? Will Sir Bobblysock live to adventure another day?
Claude is quite the character for such a small little dog with a sock for a best friend. I think kids will love both characters. I prefer Claude. Sir Bobblysock is much too quiet and is a follower not a leader. I love the illustrations, which remind me of France . . . the France of the Pink Panther or Mr. Bean. The snooty waiters wear thin, upwardly curled mustaches, a white cloth over one arm, and eyes that look down upon, well, Claude. There is action on each page and little details to tickle your funny bone.
Claude is an unusual character, yet he loves to explore and loves to get involved. Kids will love Claude’s adventures, the situations Claude gets himself and Bobblysock into, and the creative, though sometimes-clumsy way Claude positively resolves these situations. This type of slapstick is perfect for young children . . . and old reviewers.
An early reader, Claude in the City is intended for age five to nine. This English import has short sentences and easy words, though occasionally a large word is used that will force kids to look up its meaning. To keep the young reader interested the author uses word plays and daffy situations. The two chapters, with their own adventures, is the perfect stopping point for children learning how to read. The illustrations are a big part of the interest factor.
Claude in the City is a series children will love to read many times while waiting for the next edition. The hilarious sarcasm, the details, the mayhem Claude unknowingly causes, and Claude’s own reaction to this mayhem will hold every reader’s interest.
Claude will be going on more adventures in the Fall of 2013 and again in Spring of 2014. First, he will check out the circus and then the beach. Until then, Claude in the City is an adventure that will keep you delighted in Claude’s unintended adventures and the author’s French-esq illustrations, which help tell this wildly imaginative tale.
Claude at the Circus (Fall 2013) and Claude at the Beach Spring (2014)
Alex T. Smith website blog twitter Peachtree Publishers website blog facebook twitter Released in April 1, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-56145-697-0 96 Pages Ages: 5 to 9 . Copyright © 2013 by Peachtree Publishers, used with permission Text and Illustrations: Copyright © 2011 by Alex T. Smith
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Claude in the City