Author and Illustrator: Marc Brown
BUY – Arthur’s Eyes
Wearing glasses is sometimes difficult for children, especially when their peers are unkind. Arthur’s Eyes addresses the problems and solutions that are part of a child’s life time journey of looking after themselves and developing healthy self esteem.
Arthur is a little Aardvark boy who needs glasses. He gets headaches from eye strain and
has to get his classmate Francine (who likes Arthur) to read the board for him. Inevitably she starts getting annoyed and keeps asking, “Are you Blind”?
Getting his answers wrong is impacting his self esteem. Poor Arthur. No one wants to play with him either because he can’t see the basket ball hoop.
Stylish Dr Iris the Optometrist is very helpful and Arthur chooses his first pair of glasses. “You look very handsome in your new glasses” his father says encouragingly. Mother says he looks very smart too.
Now Arthur can see!
Sadly being different can attract negative attention and back at school his friends called him names.
Hurt and confused Arthur does what many children do…he decides to ‘loose’ his glasses.
Luckily mum finds them before they go through the wash, but Arthur takes them off when he gets to school.
This results in disaster as he wanders into the girls toilets by accident and causes an uproar. Arthur’s teacher has a chat to him and Arthur discovers he has reading glasses just like Arthur’s.
With the moral support of his teacher he doesn’t feel so awkward. The glasses go back on again!
Success follows as he can see the board, gets his answers right, shoots more hoops than his friends. He feels confident and happy.
Though not everyone has decided glasses are cool, his friend Francine has. She turns up to school the next day in pink glassless ‘Moviestar’ glasses. “They help me concentrate and make me look more beautiful! she announces.
Francine absolutely must have her pink glasses on when the class photo is taken the next day!
We see the impact of Francine’s bold move in the expressions of the other kids. Some look thoughtfully at her confident trendsetting. Others think she looks good, one girl looks as if she might want to try the ‘glasses’ look and one cross looking rabbit is miffed that she clearly likes Arthur not him.
The book is targeted at a mainstream American audience and is part of The Arthur Fan Club and Reading Association series. The first publication (the one I reviewed) shows Arthur with a long Aardvark nose. I was a bit shocked to see the cover of the new edition has his animal nose removed to match in with a TV series character. The artwork inside the book features the original illustrations. This might seem a bit odd to kids.
The illustrations include details which attempt to portray positive lifestyle choices. A packet of low-cal pretzels and ‘health chips’ feature as TV snacks. The kids eat eggs, sausages, honey on toast and orange juice for breakfast. The Bionic Bunny and Rat Woman feature on lunch boxes. This is an observation rather than a criticism, as America does have high levels of obesity and movie star culture is very influential in modern life.
Arthur’s Eyes has good content and is a thoughtful little book which would be helpful when discussing wearing glasses.
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- Age Range: 3 – 6 years
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
- Publication Date: May 30, 1986.
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316110698
- ISBN-13: 978-0316110693
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.3 x 0.1 inches
- Hardcover: 27 pages
- Publisher: Perfection Learning
- Publication Date: May 1, 1986
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081240615X
- ISBN-13: 978-0812406153
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches