Claude in the Country by Alex T Smith
|Claude in the Country by Alex T Smith|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Claude is my guilty reading pleasure, and I quite happily sit down to read his adventures with or without my daughter! This one is worth it for the chicken wearing spectacles alone!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: October 2012|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Thank goodness Alex T Smith is doing such a grand job of continuing to feed my Claude habit. Growing up I always had a bit of a thing for Snoopy, but now I do like to steal the Claude stories away from my daughter and curl up to read them myself as they always cheer me up. This time Claude (and Sir Bobblysock, we mustn't forget him!) have a grand adventure in the countryside. So what with chickens and sheep and pigs and cowpats...what could possibly go wrong?!
After mooching about enjoying the delights of the countryside for a while, Claude and Sir Bobblysock happen upon a farm that is hosting a country show that day. They offer their assistance to the farmer (Mrs Cowpat!) and spend several happy hours doing errands around the farm. Claude enjoys collecting the eggs. He likes the way the chickens' bottoms wobble when they walk, and spends some time copying them, which makes Sir Bobblysock feel giddy. Then Claude fills in for a sheepdog, exercises the horses and washes the pigs ready for the show!
I know, it all sounds very silly and you're probably shaking your head at the sound of a character called Sir Bobblysock (who is, of course, a sock) but somehow it just works, and in a quite brilliant way, and for both my daughter and myself Claude and Sir Bobblysock are absolutely real to us and make us both laugh. In this story she found Claude very funny, whereas I find myself sniggering over Sir Bobblysock and his feeble excuses as to why he can't help Claude out with the various different tasks (such as his stiff knee!) You can be all superior about these stories if you like, but you'd have a lot more fun if you just stopped being a grown up for five minutes and enjoyed the silliness!
The illustrations continue to be fresh and funny. Claude is endearing, and all the new characters and animals are always entertaining, including the chicken wearing spectacles which I loved! The text and illustrations work perfectly together, and there's a great sense of comic timing. I love the part where Claude is jumping around in puddles on one page with several little images of him enjoying himself, then the following page is one large picture with the text Some large puddles were deeper than they seemed... and the picture shows poor Claude up to his eyes in a very large puddle, with Sir Bobblysock looking on!
Alex T Smith has great style in his artwork, and a real sense of fun, and he matches it perfectly with the cleverly crafted stories. This was another success in our house, and our only quibble is the wait in between each book as we wonder what adventures Claude and Sir Bobblysock will have next! Perfect for reading aloud with my five year old, or slightly older children will enjoy having a go at reading it themselves. Definitely, heartily recommended!
If you haven't met Claude before then go out right now and get yourself Claude in the City
You can read more book reviews or buy Claude in the Country by Alex T Smith at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Claude in the Country by Alex T Smith at Amazon.com.
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