Officer Buckle and Gloria

By: Peggy Rathmann


Officer Buckle and Gloria is a story about Officer Buckle who travels school to school and shares his safety tips with students and teachers. Then one day at the Napville police department where Officer Buckle works at they bought a dog named Gloria. Soon afterwards every time Officer Buckle went to a school to share his safety tips, Gloria would come along. At his presentations Gloria would entertain the crowd with her tricks and impressions, causing at least 313 schools to want Officer Buckle and Gloria to give their safety tips. During a televised event where Officer Buckle is giving his safety tips, Officer Buckle then later on sees his taping and believes that the only reason why schools want him is because of Gloria. When the next day arrives Officer Buckle tells the principal of Napville School that he is not going to give his safety tips but that Gloria would go. When Gloria went to the school she was so lonely and soon everyone even Gloria fell asleep after the school had its biggest accident ever. The next day Officer Buckle received a pile of letters about the accident and received a note that said "Gloria missed you!" then Officer Buckle thought of his best safety tip yet, "Always stick with your buddy!"

Literary Elements

The plot of the story is Officer Buckle getting a dog named Gloria and taking her alongside him to his safety tip presentations, and Gloria taking the "spotlight" from him. Causing Officer Buckle to realize this and not give out anymore safety tip presentations at schools, then disaster strikes at one of the schools Officer Buckle declines giving his safety tip presentations. After this disaster happened Officer Buckle received a numerous amount of letters from students about the disaster and how they missed him and so did Gloria; after this Officer Buckle came up with his 10th safety tip, "Always stick with you buddy!" The characters in this book are Officer Buckle and Gloria. The story takes place within the city of Napville and within the schools in this area. The theme in the story is how important safety is and this clearly demonstrated throughout the children's book and also how important friendship is. Officer Buckle and Gloria are a great duet and it helps show young readers the importance of friendship and how you should never let that go. As a reader we are able to see many of these elements demonstrated in the images, especially the emotions each character is portraying.

Physical Features

The overall size of the book is fairly large providing the reader a full experience of the book; having the reader be able to get the full effect not just of the story but also of the pictures. The font is also large enough, that if the book is being read to the student they are able to read along with the teacher because they are able to see the font.

Visual Elements

The visual elements in this picture book help guide along the story, for example one of the pictures in Officer Buckle and Gloria that stood out to me the most was the scene of the disaster occurring when Officer Buckle does not show up to give his presentation. This picture is different from many others in the picture book because instead of everything being horizontal, everyone and everything is shifted diagonally suggesting to the reader that there is a lot of motion and movement occurring in this very scene. Two of the main colors that are really noticeable, are red and yellow; telling the reader that this is a very active and to caution the reader of the chaos that is happening.

Another image that brings life to the book is when Officer Buckle is viewing the broadcast on his presentation because the author brings the drawing outside of picture frame creating a more life-like feeling to the reader, helping them feel like they are in the story. Also the colors Peggy Rathmann uses in this illustration with Officer Buckle are the color choices. The couch that he is sitting on and his bathrobe are green and blue and these colors bring a calming cool sense and serenity, then when he sees his broadcast his reaction is completely different from what he was feeling before.

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Artistic Style

The artistic style of this picture book is cartoon-style that enriches the book and helps show the reader that even though this is not real-life these safety tips can help them in real life. It also may help keep the reader interested in the story and may help make it easier for the young reader be able to comprehend the story better with the cartoon-style images. It also helps show the constant movement throughout the story which makes for a smoother transition in the story.

Artistic Media

Rathmann uses a variety of colors in her children's book and is able to bring these colors to life through the use of watercolors and ink to help enhance her illustrations. Through the vibrant colors that are used and the details in the illustrations it help shows the reader what is also going on in the book, for example if the reader does not understand that the reason why Officer Buckle's presentations are becoming more popular due to Gloria, they will be able to see that through the illustrations

Elements of Illustration

The framing within the picture book help guide along the reader while either listening to the book being read out loud and seeing the pictures or reading it themselves. It also brings an order and structure to not only the illustrations but also along with the theme of story.

Interplay of the Text and Illustration

The text works along with the illustrations within the story. For example with one of the illustrations the words also move along with picture to help create that sense of chaos that is not only occurring within the illustration but also within the text.