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Summary: Arlo and his family have just moved into their new home. His parents are busy unpacking, so Arlo decides to go exploring. The adventure doesn’t start out well, as Boris, a snake hiding in a tree, starts bullying him. Then he bumps heads with Jack, a rabbit who was digging a tunnel just like Arlo … but from the other direction. At first they didn’t like each other, but then they decided they needed to work together to deal with Boris. And so a friendship begins. This is a simply told picture book story about friendship, moving, and bullies.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 8
Reading Level: 1.4
Age of Child: Read with an 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter instantly fell in love with Arlo.
Adult Reader Reaction: Arlo is unique. For one thing, he’s an armadillo, and a cute one, at that. When confronted with fear or a need to protect himself, Arlo rolls into a ball … just as you would expect of any armadillo. Kids will see themselves in Arlo and Jack's dilemmas ... and get ideas on how to handle situations in their lives.
Pros: Great illustrations and an easily absorbed story make this a great selection for toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary students, too.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. These are books with lessons that you'll need to come back to from time to time, and they will make a great transition from a book you read to one the kids will use to read themselves.
Educational Themes: The story and its sequel Arlo Gets Lost have natural “stopping points” where you can ask questions (prediction, feelings): how would you feel if your kite string broke? how can you help a friend when they feel sad? what can Arlo do to get home safely?
Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.