Written by Denise Dowling Mortensen
Illustrated by Cece Bell
Captain Bob of the Bug Patrol starts his day with coffee and cruller (aka donut) as he cruises around his district. His first call takes him to the site of “urban ants, acting rude”. Not only does he stop those “rowdy ants” from fighting, he helps them change their selfish ways.
After a few more calls, it is finally time for some lunch. While he eats, Captain Bob visits with the locals. Before he can finish his lunch, Captain Bob gets another call. This time he is needed at the Roach Motel. The residents are protesting outside, demanding better living conditions. Lucky for everyone that Captain Bob knows just the place for them, the local landfill, “Paradise Estates”.
It is late, nearly the end of his shift, when Captain Bob gets one last call. Those party crickets are having a very loud party and the neighbors cannot sleep. Captain Bob, being the wise patrol officer that he is, knows that the best way to deal with disorderly partying crickets is to drive by slowly, playing a cricket lullaby. Sure enough they settle down almost immediately.
Finally, his shift is over and Captain Bob is able to go home to “…the bugs that I love BEST!”
What first grade boy has not at some time thought about becoming a police officer? Can you imagine the excitement if a real policeman came to read this book to the class during read aloud time? This would be an easy way to integrate social studies (government/civics) into a language arts lesson.
Ms. Mortensen most certainly used a thesaurus when writing this fun-to-read book. Her word choices give many opportunities to build growing vocabularies as well as teach the meanings of phrases such as “shoot the breeze” (CCSS 1.L.4.a).
Teaching sequence would be a snap with Captain Bob. The time stamps on each call show how Captain Bob is moving through time. This would make a great introduction to writing narratives that show sequenced events (CCSS 1.W.3)
The illustrations are fun and make for an easy picture walk since they match the text so perfectly. Even struggling readers can improve their reading skills by taking cues from the pictures (CCSS 1.L.4.a).
Information about Denise Dowling Mortensen can be found at her website (http://denisemortensen.com/ ). Cece Bell’s website (http://cecebell.wordpress.com/ ) also offers more information about her and her other work.