The series of books about Claude and Sir Bobblysock should come with an ‘entertainment and laughs guaranteed’ sticker. They never disappoint and Alex T. Smith is on tip-top form with his latest offering.
As soon as Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes are out the door, Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock, usually head off on an adventure. But today it is raining, in fact it has been raining for quite a while and it has stopped the pair adventuring all week. Ever the resourceful Claude, dressed in his wellies, cagoule and complete with umbrella, is determined that they are going outside, especially as they need cake for their elevenses. It is unusually quiet outside and hopes of finding cake look to be a wash-out with Mr Lovelybuns’ bakery closed. That is until Claude and Sir Bobblysock see his van parked outside Buckingham Palace and venture inside. After being somewhat mistaken by a flustered Princess Tiara Sparkles, the duo find themselves on royal babysitting duty. All Claude has to do is keep the Royal Children clean and presentable until Great Granny’s party. Simple, right…
Claude is all kinds of fun. Whether it be the endless mishaps, the funny one-liners or the character names, there is so much for adults and children to smile about. The character names are some of my absolute favourites - royal nanny Nanny Stern-Bloomers, Princess Tiara Sparkles and Mr Lovelybuns who has the loveliest buns in town (ha ha). As for Claude, he is awesome, and when he is around you can guarantee things will not go quite as smoothly as they should. As quickly as Claude manages to fix one problem another one arrives but with his trusty beret that doubles up as a never ending bag of supplies he always has the right tool for the job whether it be a surfboard, jam tarts or art supplies.
The story is witty, charming and readers of all ages will be left with that warm, happy feeling inside. The illustrations, which are produced by author Smith, are equally as good as the narrative and bring the action to life and just make that smile on my face grow ever the more wider.
Claude at the Palace is the best of British for kids with wonderfully British language, Buckingham Palace, the Queen and some royal jam tarts. An absolute delight from start to finish and I politely request more adventures with Claude please!
Recommended for 6+.