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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
You Could Be a Police Officer! by Patricia Harman is an educational picture book about the exciting job of working in law enforcement. Marcela Estrada's upbeat, bright illustrations emphasize women and people of different ethnicities working together as police officers, showing how accessible and interesting police work is for girls and what an equal opportunity workplace it is for everyone. Police officers are presented in an encouraging way as helpful members of the community who attend a special school and receive special training so they can assist others. The book introduces kids to several categories of police work: traffic, security, K-9 units, crime investigation, answering emergency calls, police supervisors, and more.
You Could Be a Police Officer! is an excellent, straightforward, very clear book for teaching young kids about police work. Although the police officers are adults, they are described in a way that makes children feel close to them. Police activity in daily life with children, traffic, and animals is emphasized as kids will be encouraged to look around them and recognize the police officers they see each day. Patricia Harman effectively uses familiar town, school, and event settings (such as policemen on motorcycles at parades) to add color and sparkle to a very serious profession so children will see it can be a fun path in life as well. Who wouldn’t want to fly a helicopter for their job? A lot of young children might not be aware of how many things police officers really do and after reading this book they could find something about police work that they’d be interested in pursuing as a career.