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Officer Buckle and Gloria

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Rathmann, P. (1995). Officer Buckle and Gloria. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc., by arrangement with G.P. Putman’s Son’s.


Officer Buckle often visited Napville School to share his safety tips. No one really listened to him. One day the police department gave him a police dog named Gloria. He took her to his next safely speech and she was a huge hit. He thought she was sitting at attention beside him, but she really mimicked his every move. The children thought this was hysterical.

Office Buckle thought they were amused by him and was flattered when other schools began requesting him and Gloria.Things were going great till one speech was televised. Then Office Buckle realized that everyone was paying attention to Gloria and not him. He stopped visiting schools and Gloria was sent alone to a school presentation. This was a disaster. Then Officer Buckle realized that it takes two to make the safety speech great and he and Gloria were partners again.

My Impression

This is a picture book that is really a success because of the illustrations. The humor is lost without them. Children will love this book because it has a dog in it, is humorous, and teaches a great lesson about friendship and teamwork. The expressions on Gloria’s face in the illustrations are wonderful and it is easy to see why this book won the Caldecott Award.


Officer Buckle knows more safety tips than anyone in Napville. He shares his safety tips with the students at the Napville school, but they never listen until Officer Buckle’s new partner arrives. Her name is Gloria and she is a very talented police dog that everyone seems to notice, except Officer Buckle! Can Officer Buckle and Gloria work together as a team? Read the book and find out! Category: Award Books; Humor; Read Aloud. Grade Level: Preschool; Primary (K-3rd grade). 1995, GP Putnam. Ages 3 to 9.

Jim. (1995).  [Review of the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, by P. Rathmann]. Book Hive. Retrieved from http://www.bookhive.org/

When rotund, good-natured Officer Buckle visits school assemblies to read off his sensible safety tips, the children listen, bored and polite, dozing off one by one. But when the new police dog, Gloria, stands behind him, secretly miming the dire consequences of acting imprudently, the children suddenly become attentive, laughing uproariously and applauding loudly. The good policeman is first gratified with the response, then deflated to learn that Gloria was stealing the show. Finally, he realizes that he and Gloria make a great team, and they take their show on the road again, adding a new message, “ALWAYS STICK WITH YOUR BUDDY!” Like Officer Buckle and Gloria, the deadpan humor of the text and slapstick wit of the illustrations make a terrific combination. Large, expressive line drawings illustrate the characters with finesse, and the Kool-Aid-bright washes add energy and pizzazz. Children will enjoy the many safety-tip notes tacked up on the endpapers and around the borders of the jacket front. Somehow, the familiar advice (like “Never leave a bar of soap where someone might step on it” or “Never tilt your chair back on two legs” ) is more entertaining accompanied by little drawings of Gloria hamming it up. Category: For the Young. 1995, Putnam, $15.95. Ages 4-7.

Phelan, C. (1995, November 1).  [Review of the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, by P. Rathmann]. Booklist 92(5). Retrieved from http://www.booklistonline.com/

Uses in the Library

Officer Buckle and Gloria makes a great storytime book. I used this as part of a storytime I called “Dog Days.” I could also be used with other books with a safety theme. I would love to have a police officer visit the library and discuss safety and possibly bring along a real police dog. The officer or myself could read this book to the children as part of this presentation.


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