Claude at the Circusby Alex T. Smith
Claude and Sir Bobblysock's adventures continue in the second title in this adorable series. When Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for the day, our two heroes take a walk in the park. They get caught up among a group of joggers, have an ice cream, and take a nap in the flowerbed. But when a woman calls for help, they find themselves rescuing a runaway baby buggy -
Claude and Sir Bobblysock's adventures continue in the second title in this adorable series. When Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for the day, our two heroes take a walk in the park. They get caught up among a group of joggers, have an ice cream, and take a nap in the flowerbed. But when a woman calls for help, they find themselves rescuing a runaway baby buggy - with the baby still inside! After their daring success, they are invited by The Amazing Alan to come see his circus. When the performers struggle with their acts, Claude and Sir Bobblysock must save the show.
Gr 1–3—Fastidious, fashionable Claude, "A small, plump dog who wears a beret and a rather fetching sweater," and his pal Sir Bobblysock treat themselves to a day at the park. When the pair attempts to be good citizens by filling in the many holes and picking up balls that litter "a funny sort of field," angry golfers chase them with raised clubs. Claude picks up a "Wet Paint" sign—"another piece of trash he found stuck to a bench." He then takes a ride on a scooter, which enables him to rescue a baby whose buggy has run downhill toward a pond. Because of this feat, the two receive free tickets to the circus. They arrive early, and "give the tent a jolly good spring clean," unwittingly sabotaging the performers' equipment and ruining the show. But the pup entertains the crowd by juggling white balls, riding in the clown cars, and flying on the trapeze with Sir Bobblysock. The friends are rewarded by getting sent home via cannon blast. When his owners return, they wonder "why Claude is wearing a glittery crash helmet…and why there's a Claude-shaped hole in the roof?" The digital black-and-white cartoon illustrations with touches of pink let readers know more about the dog's world than what the text describes. A map of the park provides the opportunity to visually trace Claude's day, and three silly jokes are appended in a "How to be a Clown" page. There is lots of fetching humor for transitional chapter book readers.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Children waiting for an absurdist chapter book need tap their toes no more. "Claude's best friend," readers are told, "is Sir Bobblysock. He is both a sock and quite bobbly." (Oddly, the sock in the illustration, though striped, looks quite smooth.) Readers should be warned: The Claude series is full of jokes that are clever but extremely bewildering. This may be a book for a rarified audience. It's a story about a dog who's compulsively neat. When he goes to a golf course, he fills in the holes and picks up the untidy balls littering the grass. Fans of Amelia Bedelia will find this sort of thing hilarious, but some of the jokes are positively surreal. Amelia Bedelia's socks never danced "a high-stepping jig." The climax has everything a child could want in a book. Claude hangs from a tightrope, throws custard pies and is shot out of a cannon. Some readers may wonder why Claude needs to give "the high wire a once-over with a damp cloth," but surrealists probably won't complain. (Fiction. 7-9)
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¿ ISBN-13: 9781561457021 Hardcover $12.95 ¿This is another humorous episode of Claude and Sir Bobblysock's adventures. The book has nearly 100 pages, but the chapters are short and this could be read to three and four-year-olds on up, however, many of the amusing situations may be lost on the younger child. I would think eight or nine would be the upper end of the reading audience. This would be a great book for grandmas and grandpas to add to their library for an extended time with the grands! A rather ordinary Saturday is about to turn adventuresome for not only Claude's owners, Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes, but Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock. Claude, a small dog who appears to be very tired, amazingly comes to life once the house is empty of people! He immediately bounces out of his cozy bed and plans a trip to the park while Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes are off for the day on their own excursions. Sir Bobblysock decides to accompany him, all the while revealing his psychotic fears such as having his hayfever set off by the flowers. The two remind me somewhat of "The Odd Couple" with Claude being happy-go-lucky while Sir Bobblysock following along doubtfully and cautiously! ¿¿ Despite their innocent enjoyment of all the park has to offer, Claude and Bobblysock cause a ruckus when they get caught up with some joggers, and are reprimanded by the park keeper for napping in the flowers. They try to redeem themselves by filling in holes in a funny sort of field littered with small white balls. They also help keep the park clean by picking up litter. All good! except for the sign that says "WET PAINT" that is attached to a park bench. They are forgiven by all when they stop a runaway baby buggy from splashing into a pond and receive free tickets to the nearby circus. Arriving early to the next performance, the two friends think they are helping when they sweep all the sawdust into a big pile in the center of the floor, polish the trapeze, and give the high wire a once-over with a damp cloth. After the circus acts flop, Claude and Sir Bobblysock save the day with a few tricks of their own. The illustrations, also by Alex T. Smith, are excellent. As a teacher, I would like to see this published in a larger format so that the pictures could be easily viewed by a group of ten or more. (reviewed by Carly D. Karns, Music Teacher and Tutor, Alamance Christian School) We can recommend this book (and its predecessor Claude In The City) as a delightful addition to the home, school, or public library. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Claude at the Circus was provided by Peachtree Publishers for the purpose of our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.