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Here Comes the Garbage Barge! Hardcover – February 9, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—A fictionalized account of real events that occurred in 1987, this story will convince young readers to take their recycling efforts more seriously. When Islip, NY, has nowhere to put 3168 tons of garbage, the town officials decide that shipping them south is the right thing to do, so a tugboat towing a garbage-laden barge takes it to North Carolina. But North Carolina won't allow the vessel to dock. It goes on to New Orleans, but again is denied harbor rights. Then it is on to Mexico, Belize, Texas, Florida, and back to New York. The garbage is ripening all along the way. Now even Islip refuses to take it back. Finally a judge orders Brooklyn to take it and incinerate it, 162 days after the barge started its journey. Islip is ordered to take the remains to their landfill. The illustrations are photographs of objects made from garbage. The people, full of personality and expression, were made from polymer clay, and wire, wood scraps, and leftover materials of all kinds were used for the tugboat and barge. The inside of the paper jacket explains how the art was done. This title should be a part of every elementary school ecology unit.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Winter, whose You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! (2009) was graced by some of the year’s most dazzling artwork, returns with another uniquely illustrated picture book. He takes the story from a 1987 incident in which a Long Island town decided to send more than 3,000 tons of trash down to North Carolina. In Winter’s fictionalized account, Cap’m Duffy of the tugboat Break of Dawn is saddled with hauling the garbage down south but gets turned away from port after port, all the way down to Belize. While Winter’s folksy, storyteller’s voice captures the scruffy spirit of the adventure with plenty of humor, the artwork by Red Nose Studio steals this show. Photographs of polymer-clay models and found materials (including, you guessed it, piles of trash) have the same uncanny-but-fun allure of Claymation videos, and if it’s not exactly endearing, that’s fine—a book about a stinky pile of garbage has no business being prettied up. Just in case the moral isn’t clear, a buoy helpfully spells it out, “Don’t make so much garbage!!!” Grades 1-3. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375852182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375852183
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By dc reader on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
People seem to be missing the point that this book is based on the real story, including, for the most part, the real names of the people involved! The book is tongue in cheek and if you have any imagination at all provides a great opportunity to do some educating on social and environmental issues. Our 3 year old twins absolutely love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Fischer on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Garbage Barge" is a book that has lessons to learn from so many points. Obviously, the first lesson to learn is about our environmental responsibility. At the time of this story, garbage from New York City and Long Island was routinely mounded on land or barged out to the Mudhole just off the New Jersey coast for dumping. This book takes a look at what happens when someone says that enough is enough, you gotta find a better way - and in steps Gino with a "brilliant plan". The second lesson is a lesson of geography - my daughter can use a map and track the travels of the barge with my grandson and note how many miles the barge actually goes while on this great stinking adventure. The last lesson is one of understanding of your fellow man. This is not a slap-in-the-face book of Italian-American stereotypes - as noted in most of the negative reviews - it is just a story populated with certain people from a certain region who speak with a very distinctive dialect. People from Long Island regularly "murder the King's English" - it's who they are and it's what makes them prime fodder for books like these. They axs quessions. They say "houz youz doin" as a statement. They say "dis","dat", and "What's it to ya?" Geez, lighten up - if you don't like the dialect of the fine people of Long Island - whatever the nationality, then open an elocution school in Brooklyn and help fix the perceived problem. As for the book, it's a great read for kids and a great starting point for some interesting discussions.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jonah Winter's HERE COMES THE GARBAGE BARGE! tells of a town that had over 3,000 tons of garbage and no place to put it. Ages 4-8 will relish the story of a tugboat barge that saves the day in this fun survey with its fine art creations by Red Nose Studio.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JDHB on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Two thumbs up for The Garbage Barge! Good book, entertaining, great illustrations, and delivers a solid message. Great book for kids to learn more about the garbage we all produce and our responsibility to take care of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From port to port, no one wanted to welcome the Garbage Barge and take in its trash. Leaving from Islip, Long Island, and traveling down the east coast to Mexico and Florida, the Garbage Barge ended up back in Brooklyn, New York, having its garbage incinerated, only to be buried in a landfill in Islip. This true story from New York in the late 1980's spells out the need for reduced consumption and better recycling. A nice story for children ages 5-8; this is a book with a message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Green Eyes on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautiful and humorous picture book chronicles the true story of a little tugboat and its barge full of garbage setting out from Long Island and venturing from port to port all the way to Texas and back, turned away at each attempt to unload its stinky cargo anywhere but the place it started from. Winter's clever text accompanied by the animation-like illustrations of Red Nose Studio tells a tale for our time: Make Less Garbage!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My kids absolutely loved this book! The artwork is spectacular and the dialogue is hilarious.

They love to the the voices and the love to shout the "moral of the story" at the end.

To my Italian friends - sorry... You have mobsters, we have drunks and terrorists. Them the breaks.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By teacher2 on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Here Comes the Garbage Barge is a book I am considering for a whole class summer read in third grade. Currently, it is in my classroom and the kids can't put it down. It is by far the most popular book amonst a large selection and they seem to get the message of where to put the garbage that we all create. I have read the other reviews and the controversy surrounding the stereotyping. I believe it is the perfect opportunity to discuss this topic through the book. Kids are quite able and willing to see how these characters are made more realistic with regional accents and behaviors. That being said, we focus on why it is dangerous to label all people of different ethnic backgrounds and this book is a marvelous vehicle for the discussion. There are many books, that are valuable and classic stories that contain this element. The Cricket in Times Square comes to mind. So considering everything I just want to give a positive review because the message is so clear for my students.
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