The fun is simple to see in 'Arlo Needs Glasses'


Every morning, when you get up to start your day, you have to decide what you're going to wear.

Will it be something fancy or just a plain old pair of jeans? Will you choose a favorite T-shirt or something brand-new that Grandma bought for you? Is it warm enough for shorts, or should you wear a jacket? Has Mom chosen your outfit for the day, or do you get to pick the colors you'll wear?

Whatever you put on first thing in the morning, you know you simply will not wear it unless it looks good and feels comfortable. And in the new book "Arlo Needs Glasses" by Barney Saltzberg, you'll see that you're not alone.

Arlo is a big, fluffy, furry white dog. There aren't many things that Arlo loves more than to play ball, but lately, his boy has noticed that Arlo isn't catching very well. Every time Arlo's boy threw the ball, it just bounced off Arlo's nose. Ouch!

Maybe Arlo was having trouble. Maybe he forgot what to do.

No, there had to be another problem. Maybe it was time for a visit to the eye doctor. Arlo's boy took Arlo for a check-up.

The eye doctor put a chart on the wall and asked Arlo's boy to read the chart. Then he asked Arlo, but the chart was all fuzzy. He asked Arlo to peek into a big, scary-looking (but not really scary at all) machine. He tested and tested, and the only thing that was clear was that Arlo needed glasses!

But for a handsome, big, fluffy, furry white dog like Arlo, it just wouldn't do to wear a plain old pair of glasses. Arlo's new spectacles needed to be as special as Arlo himself. So he tried on a few pairs.

And when he finally found the glasses that made him happy, playing ball was fun again. Arlo's boy threw the ball and Arlo could really see it. But guess what? Arlo found a brand-new thing that he loves to do.

Do you know what it is?

There are two things I know for sure about "Arlo Needs Glasses."

Number one, it's cute as the Dickens. Author-illustrator Saltzberg gives Arlo such wonderful expressions in this book, and Arlo's boy does things with him that he'd do with a human best friend. Even the accoutrements that come with it make this book make adorable.

Which leads me to the other thing I know: this is definitely a book for toddlers, but it's one that will get a good work-out. "Arlo Needs Glasses" includes pull tabs, velcro'ed bits, folded parts and four pull-out pairs of glasses that are made of paper. Yes, this book is kid-friendly and built for little fingers, which is why you should probably have a roll of tape handy.

It's also why you should find this book and read it aloud to your resident 3- to 5-year-old. Imagine the two of you, curled up on the sofa, with "Arlo Needs Glasses." You'll both be wearing smiles.

View publishes Terri Schlichenmeyer's children's book reviews weekly.

 

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