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Officer Buckle & Gloria (Caldecott Medal Book) Hardcover – September 28, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle's school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Stealthily pantomiming each safety tip behind Officer Buckle's back, Gloria wins the children's hearts. Meanwhile Officer Buckle assumes the cheers and laughter are all for him. As the master comedian Jerry Lewis once explained, every slapstick artist needs a straight man! Children will be highly entertained by the laugh-out-loud, adorable illustrations in this 1996 Caldecott Medal winner, while learning the value of teamwork and a pawful of nifty safety tips. (Ages 4 to 8) --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Rathmann (Good Night, Gorilla) brings a lighter-than-air comic touch to this outstanding, solid-as-a-brick picture book. Officer Buckle, a mustachioed policeman who wears a crossed-out-banana-peel patch on his sleeve, has a passion for teaching students about safety, but his audiences tend to doze off during his lectures. They awaken, however, when police dog Gloria joins Buckle onstage. As Buckle speaks, Gloria-behind Buckle's back-mimes each safety lesson (e.g., leaping sky-high for "Never leave a thumbtack where you might sit on it!" and making her fur stand on end to illustrate "Do not go swimming during electrical storms!"). School safety increases tenfold and Buckle and Gloria find themselves in great demand. But when he finally learns of his sidekick's secret sideshow, Buckle's feelings are terribly hurt. Rathmann's high-voltage cartoons, outlined in black ink for punchy contrast, capture her characters' every feeling, from Gloria's hammy glee and Buckle's surprised satisfaction to Gloria's shame at having tricked her partner. In a sound and sensitive conclusion, Gloria's disastrous attempt to go solo inspires Buckle's "best safety tip yet": "Always stick with your buddy!" As a bonus, equally sage sayings decorate the volume's endpapers. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Series: Caldecott Medal Book
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 28, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399226168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399226168
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Caldecott-medalist Peggy Rathmann was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in the suburbs with two brothers and two sisters.
""In the summer we lolled in plastic wading pools guzzling Kool-Aid. In the winter we sculpted giant snow animals. It was a good life.""
Ms. Rathmann graduated from Mounds View High School in New Brighton, Minnesota, then attended colleges everywhere, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.
""I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas.""
Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.
""I spent the first three weeks of my writing class at Otis Parsons filching characters from my classmates' stories. Finally, the teacher convinced me that even a beginning writer can create an original character if the character is driven by the writer's most secret weirdness. Eureka! A little girl with a passion for plagiarism! I didn't want anyone to know it was me, so I made the character look like my sister.""
The resulting book, Ruby the Copycat, earned Ms. Rathmann the ""Most Promising New Author"" distinction in Publishers Weekly's 1991 annual Cuffie Awards. In 1992 she illustrated Bootsie Barker Bites for Barbara Bottner, her teacher at Otis Parsons.
A homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, Good Night, Gorilla, inspired by a childhood memory.
""When I was little, the highlight of the summer was running barefoot through the grass, in the dark, screaming. We played kick-the-can, and three-times-around-the-house, and sometimes we just stood staring into other people's picture windows, wondering what it would be like to go home to someone else's house.""
That story, however, was only nineteen pages long, and everyone agreed that the ending was a dud. Two years and ten endings later, Good Night, Gorilla was published and recognized as an ALA Notable Children's Book for 1994.
The recipient of the 1996 Caldecott Medal, Officer Buckle and Gloria, is the story of a school safety officer upstaged by his canine partner.
""We have a videotape of my mother chatting in the dining room while, unnoticed by her or the cameraman, the dog is licking every poached egg on the buffet. The next scene shows the whole family at the breakfast table, complimenting my mother on the delicious poached eggs. The dog, of course, is pretending not to know what a poached egg is. The first time we watched that tape we were so shocked, we couldn't stop laughing. I suspect that videotape had a big influence on my choice of subject matter.""
Ms. Rathmann lives and works in San Francisco, in an apartment she shares with her husband, John Wick, and a very funny bunch of ants.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of "Saturday Night Live's" funnier Chevy Chase skits involved his mimicry of Jane Curtain's news delivery. Sitting next to and slightly behind Ms. Curtain, Chase mouths her words and copies her gestures. Jane, suspicious and discomfited by the audience's laughter, turns around, and Chase looks at her innocently, only to begin anew when she faces the camera again. Gloria the dog emulates this act in Peggy Rathmann's delightfully funny "Officer Buckle and Gloria."

In the sleepy, accident-prone town of Napville, Officer Buckle takes his safety lectures very seriously. No one else does. The students at the school auditorium are definitely not listening to him; various kids sleep, draw, and throw a paper airplane. One girl even has an accident while he's talking, spilling her yogurt on the floor. Things change dramatically (literally) when police dog Gloria begins to tag along. She accompanies him on stage, and copies his gestures as he delivers such zingers as "KEEP your SHOELACES tied." Gloria's antics spark the kids' interest, and when Buckle turns to Gloria to see what's up, she gives him a sweet and innocent smile.

Gloria's talents extend beyond mere mimicry, however, as she proceeds to act out various accidents that Buckle warns against. She flies in the air, for example, when he states the always enthralling "NEVER leave a THUMBTACK where you might SIT on it." In one hilarious two-page spread, the increasingly renowned Officer Buckle warns a college audience-and a TV crew-to not swim "DURING ELECTRICAL STORMS," and Gloria leaps up, her air looking electrified. Later, while munching popcorn in front of the TV, Officer Buckle discovers the real reason that his safety lectures became so popular.
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Format: Hardcover
Officer Buckle knows more about safety than anyone else. He gives talks about his tips to remain safe. Unfortunately his talks fall on deaf ears. Safety is just not interesting.
But then the force acquires a new police dog named Gloria. Gloria accompanies Officer Buckle to a talk. While Officer Buckle recites his list of safety tips, Gloria performs tricks to illustrate them. But Officer Buckle does not know Gloria is doing anything.
Suddenly the safety talks are a hit and Officer Buckle and Gloria are appearing everywhere. Then Officer Buckle sees himself on the news. He also sees what Gloria has been doing. He is not happy.
But by the end of the book, Officer Buckle and Gloria have learned their lessons and that teamwork is key to the success of the safety program.
Boy did my daughter love this book when I read it to her last night. She loves dogs and Gloria's antics were pure entertainment. She caught on to the teamwork message as well as some of the safety tips (most of which are visible as notes in the illustrations). She also liked the pictures (no gorillas or hamsters making appearances) especially Gloria signing autographs while Officer Buckle buys some ice cream.
A fun book that teaches some good lessons in a way children will follow. Bravo! It deserved the award it won (and it deserves others as well).
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Format: Hardcover
Officer Buckle & Gloria is great children's book for all ages. It is about a police officer that gets ignored by the children while he is reciting some important safety rules. But when he retrieves a dog named Gloria things change for Officer Buckle. This book is written by Peggy Rathmann. The new 2001 first lady (Laura Bush loves this book as well .She loves to take this book to schools when she visits.
My favorite part in the book is when Gloria was imitating a safety rule while officer Buckle was telling the safety: SAFETY TIP # 99 DO NOT GO SWIMMING DURRING ELETRICAL STORMS.I also love the part when Gloria did a flip in air in a class room.
I would recommend this terrific children's book to any kid in K- 4 gr.. Part of the book might need to be read to kindergartners and maybe first graders. Second and forth graders would love to read this hilarious book. This book also teaches kids some very important safety rules as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Most of us learn best when we are laughing, and this book should provide lots of encouragement to learning through laughter. The humor is aimed just perfectly for the 3-6 year old set to be totally fascinated. The humor has a serious purpose. You learn many valuable safety tips, the benefits of teamwork, and the importance of communicating in an interesting way.
"Officer Buckle knew more safety tips than anyone else in Napville." "Every time he thought of a new one, he thumbtacked it to his bulletin board." "Safety tip #77 NEVER stand on a SWIVEL CHAIR." Naturally, the book has the principal doing this all the time. There was a problem though. When Officer Buckle shared his tips with the students at school, they fell asleep. And there were more accidents than ever!
One day the police department bought a police dog named Gloria. Officer Buckle took her to school. Whenever Officer Buckle would describe a potential danger, Gloria would pantomime the outcome in a humorous way. The children loved it! (and so will yours). Officer Buckle didn't realize why the children were paying attention until he saw a presentation televised.
He grew angry. "I'm not giving any more speeches! Nobody looks at me, anyway!" So the school requested that Gloria come by herself. But that was a bad idea. She just "sat on stage looking lonely." Then "she fell asleep, so did the audience."
After Gloria left, the Napville School had its biggest accident ever. "It started with a puddle of banana pudding . . . ." A letter comes to Officer Buckle saying, "Gloria missed you yesterday!"
Officer Buckle and Gloria made up. Officer Buckle "thought of his best safety tip yet . . . .
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