This early chapter book is often hilarious, but it should not be used as an instruction manual, as Claude the dog is not much of a role model.
No matter what Claude the dog does, if a band of pirates invites them to search for buried treasure, readers should think twice before going with them. Even his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, thinks this is a dubious proposition. And readers packing for a trip to the beach probably would not want to bring whipped cream, a lampshade or sticky tape. (The tambourine, however, is very useful.) Admittedly, Claude ends up having a terrific time. He saves a man from a shark, collects a hatful of gold and jewels, and looks very stylish with whipped cream on top of his head. But Claude is also the sort of dog who can pull off a beret and a red sweater. (Smith’s pink and gray, retro-modern illustrations are charming.) Most dogs wouldn’t look nearly as good. Readers willing to go with Claude’s flow will enjoy reading this third adventure on the beach or on a hidden desert island, as well as more pedestrian places.
Readers who take it too seriously might end up like Claude, floating in the middle of the ocean, wearing baggy underpants (held together with sticky tape) and pursued by a shark—but they’ll be laughing. (Fiction. 7-10)