________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004

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Police Officers. (Kids Can Read).

Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Kim LaFave.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-743-5 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-742-7 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Police-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade-3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4

   
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Garbage Collectors. (Kids Can Read).

Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Kim LaFave.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-739-7 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-573-4 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Refuse collectors-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade-3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4

excerpt:

Clank, clang, clatter, bang!

Natalie hears noises and she's worried. Someone has been stealing bicycles on her street. Maybe the thieves are in her garage! Natalie creeps into her parents' room. "Call the police," she whispers.

Natalie's mother reaches for the phone. The police number is by the phone. "We think somebody is trying to break in," she tells the police. "Our name is Best. We live at 123 Main Street. The closest intersection is Main and South streets."

"The police will be right here," she tells Natalie. (From Police Officers.)

 

Originally published as Canadian Police Officers (Kids Can Press, 1992) and Canadian Garbage Collectors (Kids Can Press, 1991), these books have been revised and adapted for the "Kids Can Read" series. Both titles are categorized as "Level 3: Kids Can Read Alone" which features longer, more complex stories for children who are reading by themselves.

     As in the original picture book, Police Officers starts with a short story vignette. Natalie helps police catch bicycle thieves by being observant and reporting suspicious activity. A section titled "Facts about Police Officers" explains the various jobs police do and the vehicles they use to travel. Nine safety tips are included in "Ways to Stay Safe."

     In Garbage Collectors, readers follow Sam and Mabel, the garbage truck driver, on their route and find out what happens to garbage after it is picked up. The story provides information about recycling, hazardous waste and landfill sites.

     Compared to the original picture books, these first readers have shorter, less descriptive sentences. For example, "As soon as the police dispatcher gets the call, a message is sent to the computer or radio inside the patrol car closest to the Best's house" is rewritten as "The police dispatcher gets the call. The dispatcher sends a message to the police car closest to Natalie's house." The vocabulary is also simplified: "noises" instead of "commotion"; "empty" instead of "abandoned"; "unusual" instead of "suspicious." Some passages have been deleted, such as information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crown Attorneys. The addition of section headings, such as "Facts about Police Officers," helps children distinguish between fiction and nonfiction. One small plot change in Garbage Collectors has Mrs. Green losing her glasses in the trash instead of her false teeth.

     Kim LaFave's cartoon illustrations have been magnified. These large pictures give beginning readers clues to the text. The text is also presented in a large typeface and on a clean white background to make reading easier.

     Reluctant readers will be hooked by these high interest topics. These attractive books are great additions to easy reader collections in public and school libraries.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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