Sunday, August 3, 2014

Claude at the Beach by Alex T. Smith, A Review ★★★

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Book Description

In the third installment of Claude's hilarious adventures, Claude and Sir Bobblysock pack their bags and go on vacation to the beach. They rescue a man from a shark, win a sandcastle-building competition, and hunt for pirate treasure. Of course, they make it back home just before Mr. and Mrs. Shineyshoes come in from work.


I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.

My 7 year old and I read this book together; both of us enjoyed it.  Claude is a dapper dog who enjoys adventures in the human world in the way only animals can. We laughed at Claude's antics and for this teacher mama, the discussion my son led once we finished was terrific. He noticed details, flipped back to check facts and analyzed the text in a very scholarly way.  His teacher would've been so proud of him! 

I liked the vintage feel to the illustrations. That being said, there was one scene that I thought was in pretty poor taste for a children's book.  SPOILER/MAMA ALERT:  I believe in kids being kids and part of that, for our family, is protecting them from early exposure to sexualization.  The bikini swimsuits and curvy figures were (personally) right at the line for me.  The scene that showed a lifeguard helping a lady with her beach balls created concern for me.  My husband also thought it was risque when I asked him if he thought I was being over-sensitive.  For many children, this will not stand out to them, but it will for some and it certainly is not the place to put such exposure.  I would like to see Claude in other books but have to admit to being a bit leery and will certainly keep my guard up.  

I gave this book: 
I would give this book 4 stars for the story and vintage-y illustration; I took away a star for the reason pointed out above.

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it    
★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

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