Claude in the Spotlight by Alex T. Smith

Funny, silly fun for the under 8’s!

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781444909296
Published: 4/4/2013

One day, after a late night ghost story reading session, Claude and his highly-strung friend Mr Bobblysock decide to amble into town for a walk. Once there, they soon find themselves joing in with a children’s dance class and after a few brief problems involving Claude’s rather plump tummy and a particularly ticklish fly, it’s off to the Variety Show for Claude and his new friends! The only problem is that the theatre has acquired a rather naughty ghost – will the children and Claude get to perform their new dance routine, or will the ghost prove that the show doesn’t always go on?

I finally see why everyone keeps talking about little dog Claude. Finally I see the light, and all it took was for me to read one of the books in this quickly-growing series! I love this little dog with the penchant for red jumpers and berets (which seem to act as Mary Poppins’ handbag. Or a TARDIS) and I especially like his highly-strung companion Mr Bobblysock (who seems to frequently need a lie down and a cuppa to help cope wth the antics of Life). I quite liked this little dog’s preoccupation with buns too, and his plump little tummy getting in the way of any particularly bendy dance moves the children want to try out- believe me, I can sympathise (BooKa says looking bemusedly down at her own rounder-than-it-should-be middle).

It’s quite a charming little book really, with some quite splendid secondary characters, notably Mrs Henrietta Highkick-Spin:

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Zap! Kapow! Mrs Henrietta Highkick-Spin! Dance teacher extroardinaire, complete with leggings!

She’s really quite good fun, her and the opera singer (seriously, you should find this book to see what she can do at the Variety show! She even has the obligatory horned helmet!). She’s also a great example of another reason I liked this book – the illustrations. They’re quite striking in just red, white and black and pretty jolly too. I mean, would you say no to seeing this troupe perform?

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Hello Lovely Ladies!

Really it all comes together to make one very charming read and certainly a series I shall be recommending in Real Life too.

Find Claude in his various books here. Oh! and make sure you pay a visit to the author’s blog here – his sketchbooks are brilliant!

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