Review: Officer Buckle and Gloria

cover 'Officer Buckle and Gloria' by Peggy RathmanA 1996 Caldecott Medal Winner, this delightful picture book tells the tale of a police officer and his loyal dog, Gloria.

Officer Buckle creates safety tips for everything. He’s got almost a hundred of them now, such as ‘always pull the toothpick out of your sandwich‘ and ‘never lick a stop sign in the winter.’

He likes to go to the schools in Napville to pass on his safety tips. However, he’s boring. The kids have all they can do to pay attention, until Officer Buckle gets a partner, Gloria, a scruffy looking dog.

While Officer Buckle is giving his safety speech, Gloria is in the background acting out the safety tips. The kids love it. They start paying attention, laughing and enjoying the show. Officer Buckle thinks it’s his doing until a TV news crew shows up and films one of his talks. Then he sees Gloria’s antics and decides he’s not needed. He bows out and Gloria goes to the schools alone. She becomes as boring as Officer Buckle was. It seems they need each other because the pictures don’t work without the words.

Peggy Rathman goes beyond the humor to develop the underlying theme of friendship: a friendship works when both people recognize each other for what they bring to the friendship. The illustrations are hilarious. You’re likely to find yourself at times ignoring the story while you try to read all of Officer Buckles’ safety tips, which are scattered through the book in the illustrations.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman


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