Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith

Claude in the CityClaude is a happy little dog. He lives with Mr. & Mrs. Shinyshoes, loves to wear berets and has a best friend named Sir Bobblysock who actually is a sock, and quite bobbly. Every morning, after Mr. & Mrs. Shinyshoes leave for work, Claude pulls his beret out from under his pillow and heads out for a new adventure.

In Claude in the City Claude decides to go into (you guessed it!) the city. Along the way he and Sir Bobblysock visit a café, an art gallery, and numerous stores before inadvertently helping police catch a thief. All the while, Claude is happily taking in all the sights and enjoying every minute of his day on the town with his best friend, even when being honked at for walking down the middle of the street. Chapter two finds Claude and Sir Bobblysock in need of a doctor when Sir Bobblysock wakes up feeling a bit under the weather after their busy day in the city. While at the doctor’s office, Claude once again saves the day just by being the clever, silly little dog that he is.

Author and illustrator Alex T. Smith has skillfully merged his quirky and witty descriptions of a happy-go-lucky dog on the go with very charming black, white and red illustrations to create an instantly loveable character. Smith’s illustrations do a fabulous job of conveying Claude’s emotions, and provide a great opportunity to build visual literacy skills. Take, for example, the moment when Claude first comes across a pigeon on the street. He observes the animal in a number of different ways, and while the text explains what Claude is doing, it is the addition of the illustrations of Claude watching the pigeon that really brings the character to life and allows the little dog’s personality to shine.

Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggy series who are ready to move on to chapter books will likely enjoy the Claude’s silly adventures and the expressive illustrations that bring them to life. This is a great book for readers in first through third grade, and makes for a very fun read-aloud or read together that parents will enjoy as well. Be warned, however, that when reading aloud you will likely be compelled to read with a British accent.

Posted by: Staci

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