Claude, a small plump dog who wears a red beret and a lovely red sweater, belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes (who are always seen from their shiny shoes up to their knees). And when Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes are out, Claude is up and about and ready for another adventure. This time, he and his unlikely sidekick Sir Bobblysock - yes, a bobbly sock! - are off to see the city.
There's a lot to see in the city and it's the author's art and wacky humour that makes the book soar - though I did find it a bit longish. I would rather see a single story plot - i.e. the museum and the capture of the nefarious sculpture-nabbing thieves. But it goes on with a visit to the doctor and (structurally speaking) where is the link between this and the incident at the museum? None.
Still, the charm of its characters and the cute retro feel have kept me reading. So here are the bits I loved:
- Without a doubt, the illustrations - fresh, and full of tongue-in-cheek humour.
- Its silly text:
One morning, Claude put on his beret and decided to go to the City. "I think I will go to the City," he said. Sir Bobblysock came too, as he didn't have anything else planned that day. Claude ....couldn't believe how tall the buildings were.....Sir Bobblysock was glad that he wasn't the one who had to clean the windows.
- How Claude never seems to need any money to buy anything:
Claude hurried inside and bought a beret in every color and every pattern. That was an awful lot of berets.
- Or the ridiculous, like this:
.... he took Sir Bobblysock's temperature with a banana....."Sir Bobblysock," he said, "you are not very well. All that shopping and rushing around in the city has worn you out. I think I will have to take you to the hospital!".....Dr. Achinbum prodded and poked Sir Bobblysock's tummy, listened to his heart .... and took Sir Bobblysock's temperature (this time with a thermometer, not a banana). Claude sniffed haughtily. He ALWAYS found bananas were much better for taking temperatures.
Of course, that bit's from the next part of the book - Claude at the hospital being a doctor for a day and saving a woeful team of ailing acrobats. Wouldn't this have made a nice second book? Novertheless, it was a fun read and I love that Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes never, ever know what happens.