Sunday 3 February 2013

Claude takes center stage!

*toot toot* 

Presenting EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at
Claude in the Spotlight 
by Alex T Smith
Published by Hodder Children's Books


Step aside Su-Bo, on your dog sized motorised bike Pudsey the acrobatic pooch and move over newly reluctantly reformed STEPS... There's a new star in town! and he's making showbiz waves. 

I've long since suspected that Claude would end up in showbiz, after all that canine was certainly born for the stage! but as you can imagine in the fifth in the Claude series he does so with trademark panache and vim! 

Claude and Sir Bobblysock happen to chance upon a rather fabulous dance class and quicker than Louis Spence can do the splits they have been invited to join in. 
As you might expect it's not long before the dynamic duo are high kicking and bottom shaking their way onto a local variety show with the promise that on winning they will win all the cakes you can from the delectable Mr Lovelybuns (titter) Bakery. 

Claude is quietly confident  that both his balletic prowess AND capacity for cake scoffing mean that this prize is in the bag....

But wait *gasp*... there's a Miss Marple-esque twist to this tale...  

Claude would have happily been gobbling his way through a sack of cream horns had it not been *dun dun duuuun* for a dastardly and very naughty man trying to scupper Claude's moment in the limelight and bag the cakes for himself. 

In true ScoobyDoo fashion Claude is whipped up into a world of ghostly apparitions, voluptuous glass smashing vikings, giant rabbits, limp wands and VERY dramatic mild peril (not for the faint hearted) 

Will Claude get his moment to shine on stage? 

Will the dastardly naughty man vamoosh with all the cakes?

Will Claude's trademark botty shaking take the dance world by storm? 

Claude in the Spotlight publishes in April so you pesky sniffers are just going to have to pre-order a copy and find out!

I would be up to my armpits in understatement to suggest that the Book Sniffer was merely a fan of the Claude series, they are without doubt and comparison works of utter joy and delight. 
Alex has created a character with such bountiful jollification and pure innocence that without hesitation I would spend my very last five pound note on the next in the series. 

In recent weeks I have heard librarians shouting praise from the very rooftops of their libraries (and not in an indoor voice either) and teachers clamouring to give Claude gold stars for helping encourage less enthusiastic readers to get stuck into books, parents who previously with fatigue dishearteningly read the same manufactured fiction with newly independent readers finally get to enjoy Claude books together and authors and illustrators of the highest calibre who hold Alex and his work including Claude in the very highest regard. 

I don't mind telling you, Alex's use of 'carry-on' visual humor and his masterfully crafted texts have on many many occasions caused me to snort tea out of my nostrils and one simply couldn't ask for anything more from a book. 

Utter-canine-besequinned-wonderment in book form! 
BRAVO Claude and BRAVO Alex. 

But wait, there's more! *GASP* what's this I hear you ask? 

A letter from Claude!...

Dear The Book Sniffer,

How lovely to hear from you! Thank you for your letter. We like getting post, mainly because once you've taken the letter out of the envelope, you can use the envelope as a hat which can come in RAWTHER useful I can tell you!

We are delighted to see that you enjoyed our latest adventure.  It was jolly fun, although poor Sir Bobblysock's collies had never been so wobbled when that ghost kept surprising him... 
He's fully recovered now, but we have had to turn down several offers of a midnight feast in an abandoned Tudor hotel with Derek Acorah on account of Sir Bobblysock's nerves.

Thank you also for the lovely questions you sent. I've answered them below for you and I hope they are ok.
 We really hope to see you soon. I'll keep combing my ears so that I'm looking my best for when we meet again, and Sir Bobblysock promises to keep his bobbles looking lovely too.

With lots of love, waggy tails and cream horns from your very best friends,

CLAUDE and Sir Bobblysock 

Claude in the Quick Fire Cannon ...KAAABOOM!

Who would play you in an epic television drama adaptation of your life thus far?

Well, now that IS a question. Who indeed? Obviously I think I would be quite a good person to play CLAUDE because I know him quite well because I am him. If I wasn't available ( my diary has become RAWTHER full since my adventures have been published - parties, premieres, opening local branches of discount supermarkets etc) I think someone like Ronnie Corbett would be good because is is small like me, and does a nice line in natty knitwear....

Which dance move would you use for attracting attention to yourself if for instance you were at a groovy shindig?

Oh me and Sir Bobblysock LOVE a groovy shindig. Sometimes we throw a wild party at home when Mr and Mrs S are out at work.  The curtained are drawn, on goes ' How Much Is That Doggy In The Window' on the record player, and we get our nice friend Everard from next door to pop over and flick the light switches on and off repeatedly whilst we whirl around the living room. shaking our bottoms

As for dance moves, I have to say I do enjoy a shoulder shrug, where as Sir Bobblysock says that a bit of energetic shimmying of his chest has always served him well in the past...

Which three guests would you invite to your dream swish tea party?
Obviously you are top of our list because you are such a chum! The other two guests would have to be Tommy Cooper as we do like the odd bit of magic and  Sir Bobblysock always likes a man in a fez. Lastly, it would have to be Mr Lovelybuns from Lovelybun's Bakery. He could bring the cakes because we aren't allowed to cook in the kitchen anymore after we accidentally set fire to it when we were making macaroons. Poor Everard had to come running round in his kimono to put it out with one of Sir Bobblysock's moist flannels.

What ever happened to Bobbly Socks other half?
*whispers* THAT is a long story and it's all very mysterious. I can't tell you very much except that all will be revealed when Sir Bobblysock publishes his autobiography "Sock It To 'em - The Life of Sir Bobblysock So Far...".
 I can give you a clue though...  *siddles up close* You know how when there are twins sometimes one of them is lovely and the other one is *mouths 'everso naughty'*... well... you can imagine...

Do you have a recipe for your favourite cake/bun/pastry, which you can share with us?

Oh well like I said earlier, we aren't really allowed to bake in our kitchen now, but we were keen cooks and have too many recipes to choose from. What I can tell you is a bit of advice. If you are making a Mississippi Mud Pie, you don't HAVE to use real mud, but we've found that it does jazz things up a bit.

Tell us a secret…

In our next book 'CLAUDE on the Slopes', which is out in October, *some* of us get into a bit of trouble on a snowy mountain when *some*of us forget that using your Outdoor Voice around snow can cause avalanches...

TEHEHEEEE We can't wait for Claude 6 - THANK YOU for popping by Claude send our best regards to Alex.T.Smith 

You simply MUST follow Alex on Twitter @Alex_T_Smith
you won't be disappointed 

Follow Alex's wonderful blog here

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