Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith

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Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: More fun and adventure from the little plump dog and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock. Expect silliness galore!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 96 Date: March 2016
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444926484

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I've been a fan of Claude from the beginning. He charmed me from the start, with his plump tummy, little legs, red jumper and rather fetching beret. I can't help but love a dog who wears a beret! He also has a charming best friend, Sir Bobblysock, (who is indeed a woolly sock) who always makes me laugh. In this particular book they are off on another hunt for an adventure, and although it seems for a while that there is simply no fun to be had outside of the house they finally fall, literally, into a Very Exciting Sports Competition!

All you really need to know about Claude is that his stories are always extremely silly. They also appeal on several levels, to younger readers who will see the basic action as funny, to those slightly older who will begin to appreciate some of the more complex humour, and to any grown ups sneaking a read over an afternoon cup of tea, who may well snort a few times whilst reading. I personally enjoy some of the little asides most of all, that add a little background colour to the story, for example when we're told that Claude has woken up with ants in his pants but not REAL ones, of course, (that had been yesterday's excitement). Or when we're told about Sir Bobblysock (who really is a sock, remember) trying to keep up with Claude running down the street whilst balancing a large frothy coffee and a handful of garibaldis at the same time!

You can probably imagine the sort of trouble Claude can get himself into during a sporting competition. It doesn't help that Sir Bobblysock, Claude's coach, suggests that Claude runs with a nice cup of tea and a few biscuits, to keep his energy up! Although it's not all trouble as there is one fabulous illustration that shows Sir Bobblysock getting involved actually, as he takes part very successfully in a synchronised swimming routine! Claude manages to be a hero in the end, of course, as he apprehends some extremely dodgy looking characters who are trying to run off with the trophy.

The things these books do very well is catering for that awkward space between picture books for 'babies' and chapter books for more confident readers. Their format makes them feel like a book for older children, yet there aren't overwhelming amounts of text to read, and there's still a picture on every page, to help any struggling readers figure out what's going on. So you can happily read this book aloud, for any younger children who'd like to listen, but it can also be sneaked upstairs by those who are emerging readers, ready to read by themselves.

This is another wonderful adventure for Claude that we enjoyed very much in our house. I felt it ran just ever so slightly too long, but that's a minor niggle really. Brilliant to encourage those readers who are ready for something a little meatier than a simple picture book story, but also enjoyable for all the family, from small ones listening on your knee, to Grandads who 'borrow' Claude for a chuckle over a cup of cocoa.

Further reading suggestion: To see where it all began with Claude, take a look at Claude in the City or for more well-drawn silliness try The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe by Diane Fox and Christyan Fox.

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Buy Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Claude Going for Gold! by Alex T Smith at


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