Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Claude in the Country

Claude in the Country

Alex T. Smith
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Peachtree Publishers, 2016   ISBN: 978-1561459186

Claude is a small, rather round dog who likes to wear a beret and a “very dashing sweater.” He and his friend Sir Bobblysock (who is a sock) live with Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes. Whenever the humans leave the house Claude and Sir Bobblysock plan an adventure.

One day Claude decides that he is going to visit the countryside. His friend Sir Bobblysock decides to join him, though he has reservations. He has heard that the countryside is a very green place and green is “not his best color.”

When they get to the countryside the friends are pleasantly surprised by how nice is it. There are lots of things to look at and, best of all, the countryside contains “whiffy” smells, which Claude, being a dog, rather likes. Claude discovers that the smell is coming from a farm, and followed by Sir Bobbysock, who has a clothespin on his nose, he goes to investigate.

The friends meet the farmer, Mrs. Cowpat, and Claude asks if they can help her on the farm for the day. Mrs. Cowpat welcomes their offer as she has a busy day ahead of her. The Country Fair is going to be held on her farm in the afternoon and there is a lot to do.

First Claude gathers up all the eggs. Then he agrees to stand in for Mrs. Cowpat’s sheepdog and round up all the sheep that are out in the fields. Mrs. Cowpat wants the sheep to be brought to the barn where they will be out of the way. Though Claude’s sheep herding skills are not traditional, he gets the job and is soon ready to help exercise the horses. Then, after a tea break, he sets about making the pigs beautiful for the Most Beautiful Pig competition that afternoon.

This wonderful Claude story is highly entertaining and deliciously funny. Once again the little dog rises to the occasion and demonstrates how creative and adaptable he is. Indeed, he seems to be able to take on just about anything that life throws at him.

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