Douglas is a dog who, perhaps, has something in common with many of the young readers who will read this book: he is nearsighted, so he needs glasses! Douglas mistakes leaves for squirrels, a beehive for his ball, and he even thinks that a hat on a bannister post is his owner Nancy. Fortunately, in this world, there is an optometrist for dogs, so Douglas gets an eye exam, gets glasses, and is now able to see, run, and play much better.
This will be a familiar and comforting story to any kid with glasses. The scene where Douglas bluffs his way through an eye exam rings hilariously true, and the page where the reader sees Douglas’s new glasses-enhanced vision contrasted with his blurry non-glasses eyesight is a strikingly accurate depiction of what nearsighted people see the first time they put glasses on.
The book has plenty of humor, found in the characters’ expressions and Douglas’s Mr. Magoo-like blunders. But the humor never feels mean towards Douglas – the sense is that he is laughing at himself as we laugh at him. Douglas is so endearing, you can’t help but feel happy for him at the end, as he hugs Nancy in his newfound in-focus world.
There is also a section at the back of the book featuring pictures of real kids in glasses, and readers are invited to submit their own glasses photos. Hopefully, bespectacled kids will see themselves represented in this book, and not feel so alone. Maybe Douglas’s story can even help a child recognize their own vision issues and give them the courage to go to the eye doctor. This book’s lessons for kids are manifold, and presented with a winning character in Douglas the dog.
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