Arlo Needs Glasses

Image of Arlo Needs Glasses
Release Date: 
May 22, 2012
Workman Publishing Company
Reviewed by: 

Arlo Needs Glasses is a book of only 150 words, but it is filled with color and fun. From the bright cover to the golden yellow end papers, the story is told with different background colors on every page turn. The characters are a boy, his big fluffy dog, and an eye doctor.

Who doesn’t love dogs? Especially if they’re nearsighted or farsighted? Whichever it is, Arlo can’t see. “I love my dog Arlo. He likes to play catch. But one day, Arlo couldn’t catch anymore.”

The unnamed boy tries to show Arlo how to catch. “It was no use. Arlo still couldn’t catch.” The art shows the ball bouncing off Arlo’s head. The boy takes Arlo to the eye doctor. “The eye doctor asks Arlo to look into a machine called a phoropter.” The best illustration is the double-page spread where it shows how the boy sees the eye chart (clear) and how Arlo sees the eye chart (blurry). This is where a child knows that “Arlo needs glasses.”

The next double-page spread shows Arlo trying on four different pairs of glasses. On the next page he wears the perfect pair. A dog in glasses is hilarious. A kid who needs glasses needs this book because he can see that Arlo has benefited from getting his eyes checked and from getting glasses to achieve clear vision. On the next double-page spread Arlo has the ball in his mouth. He can play catch again!

“But there’s something he likes to do even more . . . Arlo loves to read!” The double-page spread is fun with dog titles all over the place:  A Bone Alone, Spot, Life is Ruff, Ma & Paw, How Long Do I Have to Sit and Stay, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Wags to Witches, Virginia Woof (some of the titles are obviously for the adults).  It’s a bit of a stretch, but if a dog can wear glasses, then a dog can read, right?

The book originally came out in 2012, and now it’s back. When your third grader comes home from school with a letter that says she needs glasses, this is the perfect book for her. You can read it to her until her new glasses arrive. Arlo looks cool in his glasses. She can read about him while she gets used to her new look. Then the book can go on the shelf until her younger sibling needs them, too.