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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Claude on Holiday

Author and Illustrator: Alex T Smith
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books, 2011

Alex T Smith is really exciting fresh writing talent, though I can't say 'new' as I think he's been writing for a good few years now; we have most of his titles- to me this author is the king of the loveable character. 

The 'Claude' series is perfect for the rising fives and above, as each book is split into two chapters, enough to get a feel for chapter books but not enough to loose pace and interest. There's a real dearth in literature for this particular age group, those books that do exist, tend to be part of reading schemes such as 'Treetops' and 'Racing Ahead' and so have a vocabulary agenda that make them quite dry to read. The 'Claude series' is a real hybrid, just between a picture book and early reader chapter book. 

In 'On holiday' the first half starts with Claude, the beret wearing dog and his best friend, a bobbly sock called Mr Bobblysock, leaving Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes house with a suitcase. Claude uses items from the suitcase to save the day. Amongst all this there's some good old fashioned innuendo for the adult reader, including the lifeguard 'helping a woman with her 
beach balls' . The second chapter is a pirate story, wherein Claude meets a band of ramshackle pirates and helps them find some treasure. Again the story is very farcical and adventure ready, with Claude's misdemeanours always making everything all right at the end. 

The children enjoy these books but probably not more than I do. I chuckle along as I read. 
The Claude series is perfect for the rising fives and those learning to read. 

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