Claude in the City

( 3 )


In the first book in this adorable new early chapter book series, Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock (who is both a sock and very bobbly), go to the city for the very first time. They have tea in a café, go shopping, and visit a museum. It's a delightful but ordinary day, until Claude accidentally foils a robbery, then heals a whole waiting room full of patients.

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In the first book in this adorable new early chapter book series, Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock (who is both a sock and very bobbly), go to the city for the very first time. They have tea in a café, go shopping, and visit a museum. It's a delightful but ordinary day, until Claude accidentally foils a robbery, then heals a whole waiting room full of patients.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although the book’s duotone artwork and small format don’t draw attention to themselves, British author/illustrator Smith’s canine hero Claude and his sidekick, a sock named Sir Bobblysock, prove to be fountains of good cheer and sweet humor. In the first chapter, Claude and Sir Bobblysock tour the big city; in the second, they make an unexpected trip to the hospital. Primer-like narration—“First, Claude and Sir Bobblysock went for a walk.... Everybody seemed very friendly!”—is upended by the artwork, which shows dog and sock strolling down the center of a busy avenue, oblivious to the rude gestures of human cabbies and bicyclists (and to the pink brassiere that flies out of the trunk of one taxi). In the hospital, Claude distinguishes himself by taking temperatures with a banana. While Claude’s unapologetic love of shopping (“Claude hurried inside and bought a beret in every color and every pattern”) and Smith’s twee narration (“He gasped like this: gasp!”) may cause some eye-rolling, there’s much to love in this resurrection of the cheerful city chronicle of the ’60s, complete with pillbox hats and fox stoles. Ages 5–9. Agent: Arena Illustration. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Meet Claude, a small, plump dog with a European sensibility. After owners Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for work, Claude dons his beloved beret and sweater, and then heads out for the day's adventure. In the first chapter of this slender, two-chapter text, the dog decides to head to "the City." His trusty sidekick, the red-and-white striped sock known as Mr. Bobblysock, comes along. After admiring the size of the city and its buildings, he stops to eat at a cafe and goes shopping in the "best shop in the world"—a beret shop. Next, he spots a building with pillars that remind him of juicy bones and heads inside. Claude may be an atypical dog in many regards but it seems he cannot read or he would not be surprised to learn from the receptionist that he has entered an art gallery. After perusing the varied pieces of artwork, he heads out the door; in the process, he foils an art thief and is awarded a medal from the mayor. The second chapter's story begins the next morning. When Mr. Bobblysocks seems unwell, Claude takes him to the hospital. While the doctor is tending to Mr. Bobblysocks, Claude is learning all about health care and solving a mysterious epidemic—with tea. Readers will appreciate the zany goings-on of this unusual duo, as well as the many image-and-text gags (e.g., a rude, buttock-y sculpture at the otherwise serious art gallery; a completely-bandaged but underwear-clad patient in the hospital waiting room; a motorcycle enthusiast engaged in embroidery; a banana used for taking temperature). A hit with British audiences, Claude is sure to be a sensation with American children, too. Watch for Claude at the Circus and Claude at the Beach. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—This transitional chapter book offers a wacky plot, silly humor, and an abundance of grayscale illustrations with red accents. Claude, a small, beret-wearing dog, lives with "Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes…[and] his best friend, Sir Bobblysock," an animated, striped sock. One day, the pup and his pal go to the city where they gaze at skyscrapers, walk through traffic, and shop. Claude purchases several berets, which are packed in a stack of boxes. After a visit to an art museum, the pair go to a café, where a woman who has stolen a sculpture is caught when she runs into Claude and his boxes, making him a hero. The next morning, Sir Bobblysock does not feel well, and after Claude takes his temperature with a banana, they go to the hospital and see Dr. Achinbum. In a case of mistaken identity, Claude is recruited to treat a group of female wrestlers stricken with a mysterious illness, curing them with "a nice cup of tea and a…cookie…." And Sir Bobblysock is as good as new after a small hole in his heel gets darned. Cartoonish line drawings feature retro clothing with impeccable tailoring, stylish embellishments, and tightly cinched waists.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
This British import mixes outlandish adventures (or possibly very vivid dreams) with intentionally juvenile jokes to create a zany first (U.S.) entry in a series for transitioning readers. The episodic plot follows two days in the life of Claude, a talking, beret-wearing dog, and his best friend, a sentient, independently mobile sock named Sir Bobblysock. On the first day, Claude and his friend visit a cafe, enjoy a shopping spree in a hat shop and finish up with a trip to the art museum, where Claude inadvertently foils a robbery. On the next, they take a trip to the hospital since Sir Bobblysock is feeling poorly. While there are no comics or superheroes, some of the wordplay (the doctor's name is Ivan Achinbum) as well as the display of underwear (both men's and women's) in numerous illustrations may remind readers of the perennially popular Captain Underpants series. Smith's text varies from short, simple declarative sentences typical of early readers to longer, more complex sentences and paragraphs that feature sophisticated vocabulary and concepts. The digitally created artwork resembles pen and ink with pencil shading, and the palette is limited to black, gray and red with coral accents. This color scheme gives the illustrations a distinctly retro feel, while Claude's vague resemblance to both Underdog and Snoopy creates a cartoon vibe. Quirky and cosmopolitan Claude's audience on this side of the pond is likely to be limited, but it may well also be quite enthusiastic. (Fiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561456970
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 720,435
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book is one of a series of books about a dog named Claude.

    This book is one of a series of books about a dog named Claude. Claude lives with Mr. and Mrs. Shiny Shoes. Every day they go to work leaving Claude at home. Claude and his friend Sir Bobblysock have other plans.

    They decide to take a trip to the city. While in the city they see all kinds of stores and people. Claude’s favorite place is the beret shop. He goes a little crazy and buys berets of all different colors. Next they visit an art museum where Claude stops a robbery and wins a medal.

    The next day Sir Bobblysock becomes ill and Claude has to take him to the hospital. Claude once again goes to work helping those around him. This book is filled with colorful and fun illustrations. The young reader will enjoy reading about the many adventures of Claude and Sir Bobblysock. (reviewed by L.Hale, Elementary Teacher, ACS)

    Author/illustrator Alex T. Smith has given the young readers a delightfully illustrated dual-tone early chapter book that will engage them with the "storyline" and various episodes as well as the captivating illustrations.

    DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Claude in the City was provided in exchange for our honest review by Peachtree Publishing. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

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  • Posted April 4, 2013

    What a funny little book! I read this with my daughter and she

    What a funny little book! I read this with my daughter and she laughed out loud several times throughout the story. She loves Sir Bobblysock, and the way Claude takes people's temperatures with a banana.

    This is a super cute book that children will enjoy. It is an early chapter book with color illustrations on almost every page. It has 96 pages, but can easily be read within 10 minutes (by an adult).

    I did have a concern with the crude jokes that are in the book. One is a sculpture of a person's nude bottom (which is completely inappropriate for a children's book, in my opinion), and the other is the name of the doctor at the hospital. Every time his name was mentioned, I changed it to "the doctor" instead.

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  • Posted April 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Rewarding Outing for Claude! Claude decides to take his best

    A Rewarding Outing for Claude!

    Claude decides to take his best friend Sir Bobblysock and tour the city.  They had never been to the city before and it was indeed an adventure.  They saw buildings so tall  they touched the sky and so many people rushing here and there.  They found a wonderful place to stop and have a drink.  Then he discovered shops, many shops and one he really had to visit where he ended up buying a new beret, well a few berets.  He decided to enter a building that reminded him of yummy bones, it was a museum.  So many things to see and do in the city.  It had literally been a rewarding day.

    Claude and Sir Bobblysock slept soundly that night.  When Claude woke up Sir Bobblysock did not wake up, something was terribly wrong with Bobblysock!  What should he do?!!  Bobblysock did not look well!
    Could he be ill?!!

    This was a fun book with lots of surprises with the adventurous character, Claude the dog, that the author has created.  What a great imagination!  The author I mean!  Who would have thought of a sock as a character?  Alex T. Smith of course!  You, along with your children will want to read this fun book.  Get ready to smile!

    I wonder where Claude will go on his next outing?  Maybe the Circus or the Beach!  Sounds like more fun with Claude coming our way.

    I highly recommend this book.

    Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers/World of Peachtree for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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