Posted in Animal Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Intermediate

Claude and Mr. Bobblysock find their way to the Big Screen

Claude on the Big Screen, by Alex. T Smith, (Oct. 2017, Peachtree Publishers), $12.95, ISBN: 978-1-68263-009-9

Recommended for readers

Claude the Dog and his best friend, Mr. Bobblysock, are back for another adventure: this time, they wander onto a movie set, save the day by filling in for the two stars, and save a classically trained gorilla actor who’s afraid of heights! Written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith, the Claude series is a fun, early chapter book series that sports two-color illustrations and a quirky sense of style. The characters and writing are flamboyant fun, with exaggerated fonts, gigantic wigs, a gorilla in a smoking jacket, and a dog in a beret. It’s dry wit for the elementary school set.

There are seven Claude books out right now. Give these to your readers that appreciate humor with a twist. Introduce them in a read-aloud, letting kids hear the tongue-in-cheek manner of the narrative. Dress up socks and have the kids make berets – have fun with Claude!

Posted in Uncategorized

Meet Claude in the Country!

claudeClaude in the Country, by Alex T. Smith (Apr. 2016, Peachtree Publishers), $12.95, ISBN: 9781561459186

Recommended for ages 7-10

Claude is a beret-wearing housedog, living with his human family, Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes, and his best friend, a red striped sock named Mr. Bobblysock. One day, they decide to go on a walk in the country and find themselves at Woollybottom Farm. Spending the day helping Mrs. Cowpat, the farmer, turns into quite an education for Claude as he washes pigs (giving them quite the pampering), checks out competitive vegetable competitions, and his chased by a bull! Will Claude and Mr. Bobblysock go country, or will they go back home when the day is done?

The Claude books by Alex T. Smith were originally published in the UK; the first, Claude in the City, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2012. I’m always happy to see a good intermediate series hit bookshelves, so I’m thrilled that this series is coming to US audiences. I received my ARC from the Peachtree Publishers booth at PLA, where the rep talked the book up so much, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Claude’s adorable, and seems to have a habit of meandering into situations where he happily dives into new experiences. Mr. Bobblysock is there as a companion, but tends to be pretty sleepy, so Claude takes the lead.

Animal fiction always does well for me, as does humor, so the combination of the two, with the adorably cartoony two-color art from Alex Smith, seals the deal. I just found out that Disney Junior UK has picked up Claude for an animated series, so let’s see how he fares on our shores, and maybe we’ll get some more Claude in our future. This is a fun beginner chapter book series for kids who are ready to start testing the waters beyond Easy Readers. Booktalk them and display them with your Mercy Watson and Leroy Ninker books; pit Claude against Bad Kitty to see whose adventures are more hilarious!

Check out more of Alex T. Smith’s art on his author webpage, including an adorable 90th birthday wish for the Queen of England.