Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
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Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  601 ratings  ·  129 reviews
This New York Times Best Illustrated Book is a mostly true and completely stinky story that is sure to make you say, “Pee-yew!” Teaching environmental awareness has become a national priority, and this hilarious book (subtly) drives home the message that we can’t produce unlimited trash without consequences.

Before everyone recycled . . .

There was a town that had 3,168 to...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Schwartz & Wade (first published 2010)
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Kathryn
I'd heard some "buzz" about the illustrations in the book but really didn't know what the story was about. I must say that, while I appreciated the illustrations and found them very creative (Red Nose Studio "puts garbage to good use--by making art out of it!") I really was not a fan. The characters looked a little creepy/weird for my tastes.

As for the story, well, it was very interesting to hear about the "Garbage Barge" fiasco of 1987 in which a garbage barge left Long Island carrying nearly t...more
paula
Let me proceed carefully here. 1. Here Comes the Garbage Barge is based on the true story of the barge loaded with Long Island garbage that meandered up and down the Atlantic coast, rejected at every port from New York to Belize, during the summer of 1987. 2. Jonah Winter is a terrific author of children's nonfiction. I would not and will not assemble a school library without his biographies of Sandy Koufax , Dizzy Gillespie , Sonia Sotomayor , Diego Rivera , and others.

There's a big BUT coming...more
Inoli
I wasn't sure what to think at first but then it became pretty funny and brought grins & chuckles, while still sticking to its apparent intention and point. Still closer to 3-1/2 but easier to round up.

And once again, like many of the short childrens picture books with instuctional or persuasive intent, it was harder for me to rate. A couple in the past I've been in awe of but that's much less common with these. I don't get to see the reaction of the intended audience and that's really what...more
Monica Edinger
Love it. I'm old enough to remember the real story and think Winter and Red Nose Studio have done a fantastic job with it. Reading it aloud was a blast. Superb!
Nielson
This is such an interesting book! I have never heard this true story of the Garbage Barge. In 1987 people in the town of Islip, NY had 3,168 tons of garbage that they wanted to get rid of. The genius idea that was carried out was to pile all of that smelly trash on a garbage barge and take it down to North Carolina to dump there. Well you can imagine what North Carolina's reaction was....NO WAY! After many attempted tries of dumping the garbage in several states and even different countries, the...more
Barb Middleton
Fun read aloud with older students. It is a longer book so students need a good attention span. YouTube has an interesting video on how the book was made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKag0L.... I showed this first to the students. Make sure you use your New York accent when reading the story. There's one line where the New Yorker says, "forget-about-it" but the spelling is funky so I completely misread it. The kids laughed the hardest at that... I sounded like a baby gurgling. You can also us...more
Salina
This story was about a garbage barge that carries 3,168 tons of trash in the Eastern Seaboard during the late 1980s. The barge begins in the Long Island town of Islip, who is overcome by trash and tries to get rid of it by planning to dump it in some farmers' backyards. But North Carolina turned the barge away as other places did as well; Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Mexico, and Belize. The barge returns to New York Harbor while the politicians decide what to do with their tr...more
Nancy Jo Lambert
While the illustrations in this one are really neat, I found the story itself to be a little akward.

In this highly fictionalized tale of an incident that happened in 1987, the main character, Cap'm Duffy, who talks like a pirate, sets out with a barge full of garbage that Islip (on Long Island) no longer wants or can put in their landfill.

Part of the reason I don't care for this book is because of the weird descriptions of the places they try and ump the garbage, the weird accent of Cap'm Duff...more
Margaux
This is a one-of-a-kind cautionary tale about the repercussions of the "throw away without thinking" mentality. Throughout the story, Cap'm Duffy St. Pierre, of New Orleans, travels with a barge full of garbage from Long Island, New york all the way to Belize, with many stops along the way. Colorful colloquial language and illustrative text tell the true story of the Break of Dawn barge and the tons and tons of trash (literally) that it hauled up and down the coast. The illustrations are photogr...more
Destinee Sutton
I didn't particularly like the use of nonstandard spelling to convey the accents of the characters. Sometimes it's done well, but here it felt hammy.

It's a good story, though. I remember the first time I thought hard about where all of our garbage goes. I imagined that in my lifetime the whole world would be one big garbage dump. Here's hoping I was just a dramatic child.
David
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Teaching environmental awareness has become a national priority, and this hilarious book (subtly) drives home the message that we can’t produce unlimited trash without consequences. Based on incredible true events, Jonah Winter brings us the flavorful story that starts in a little town on Long Island that has a big problem: 3,168 tons of garbage and nowhere to put it! Enter the garbage barge, who hauls the junk down the coast of North America looking for a place to dump i...more
Tiffany
I don't know why, but I love this book. I happened to end up reading it through work, and I think it's an amazing work of children's lit. The artwork is stunning, the story is fun, and the explanation inside the dust jacket on how the artwork was created is just the cherry on the sundae. Of course, I cannot yet comment on how much children like it, as we haven't read it to them yet, but I definitely think it makes for an entertaining and somewhat true read with a great lesson behind it.
Laura
I really enjoyed this story! I didn't know about the 1987 garbage barge fiasco and this title does a great job explaining what happened to the garbage of Islip, New York. The author explains why he changed some details and reworked the story. I wish that the story could be considered nonfiction but I also agree with his reasons for making changes to the story.

The book is kind of weird, but in a way that I think young readers will be delighted with. The artwork is created from trash and I enjoye...more
Angie
Four stars for the AWESOME ART. Wish I knew how it was made. Apparently insde the book jacket there is an explanation. Unfortunately our Bound to Stay Bound copy came WITHOUT the cover jacket attached ... and w/o thinking or inspecting it carefully I threw it away (as I have yet to come up with a usable system for saving/filing/storing book jackets). So that is a :[ on me.

And four stars for the idea of the story.

Though three stars for the execution. It's more than a little wordy.


But that awesome...more
Kerri
Everybody always talks about recycling and how that will help our landfills from getting so much bigger, but the point is really sent home in this picture book. When thinking about major cities that have a high population with a small amount of land space, most people don't consider the fact that the inhabitants of that city must produce a LOT of garbage! The very idea that a businessman would strike a deal with someone in another city to take that much trash off his hands is appalling. This boo...more
Q_Jill Burke
This book is hilarious. It is a great book to teach children about the importance of recycling and reducing waste. It is about the town of Islip, New Jersey in the 1980's when they had 3,168 tons of garbage and no where to put it. It was arranged to have the garbage shipped to North Carolina so it was loaded on a barge headed south. North Carolina refused to let the garbage in the harbor. the boat headed further south. It was rejected by New Orleans, Mexico, Belize, Texas and Florida. The barge...more
Lissa Davies
Sep 17, 2012 Lissa Davies added it
Shelves: media-log
Here Comes the Garbage Barge is a hilarious retelling of a true story. In 1987, a town in New York decided to ship 3168 tons of garbage to North Carolina on a barge. Too bad that North Carolina didn't want it! They send the garbage-laden barge on to New Orleans, but they don't want it either! 162 days and 5 stops later, the garbage (much stinkier than it was at the beginning) is sent back to the original town. They refuse to take it, and the garbage sits on the barge in the middle of the river,...more
Marcie
Nov 11, 2010 Marcie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marcie by: NYT Best Illustrated 2010
Red Nose Studio really does deserve recognition for making the art of this book out of "wire, fabric, junk, and more. Unfortunately I had a library copy and had to take apart the jacket in order to see the details of how it was made. Illustrations look like claymation to an extent. This is a humorous fictionalized account of the 1987 New York City garbage barge that shipped 3,168 tons of Long Island's garbage to North Carolina. The Author's note explains the liberties taken. Reading this to kids...more
Christopher
I thought the book was really successful in showing that regardless of the publicity received by the Capt. and the garbage barge, they were famous for the wrong reason. This book showed good artwork, especially when it showed Lady Liberty holding her nose as the garbage barge passed by her. The book was really funny with each place encountered by the Capt. showing him that they were not willing to accept the garbage barge. This book pretty much was showing how one man's trash is definitely not...more
Stacey Mulholland
My 4-year old son has gotten this twice from the library. He likes but I think he knows why.
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Here Comes the Garbage Barge, is a mostly true story about what life was like before people recycled which was…messy…disgusting…and smelly. A little town in New York had too much garbage and the tug boat Break of Dawn and her captain Cap’m Duffy St. Pierre were sent in to transport all that garbage elsewhere, but no one wanted it! They were met at every port from North Carolina to Mexico with a big NO! What could they do?

Don’t let the stinky topic trick you into thinking this is a stinky book....more
Sara Cook
A great reminder about how much trash we throw away! The art is fantastic.
Stacy268
Love, love, LOVE this one. As a resident of Staten Island, I used to see my fair share of garbage barges, but the story of Mobro 4000 and the trek to find a landing for the trash is simply amazing. This is a "fictionalized" account, but the story sells itself. The art is astounding. I first saw an ad for this in a professional journal, and was delighted when it showed up at work. The puppets and sets are amazing, and kids are sure to pour over the illustrations to see just what is in that barge....more
Kristin
This has been coming up like crazy on the Caldecott prediction blogs. In fairness, I probably would have given it 2 1/2 stars. It's an intersting story based on a true event. And the topic is especially relevant given the recent oil disaster. But overall, I just don't think it's that great. I usually love real collage art in picture books, and I started off thinking these illustrations were clever and visually appealing, but it's all just a little overdone and a tad bit creepy, especially all th...more
Heidi
Grades K-Adult
Assembled garbage and wire and clay figures were photographed to tell the then-famous story of the New York Garbage Barge that, for months, traveled as far south as Belize in an effort to get rid of over 3,000 tons of garbage. In the end, the Long Island town of Islip had to take care of their own problem, and the recycling movement was born. Everyone can appreciate the author's humor (although it unnecessarily edges toward relying on Italian-American stereotypes), the timely messa...more
Sherrie
Here Comes The Garbage Barge is the story of the trash barge that departed Islip, NY on March 22, 1987 headed towards the South to dump the 3,200 tons of trash is was carrying. This solution didn't work out and the trash ended up back in NY after multiple attempts to unload their garbage in another state. The is a great story to teach 4 to 8 year olds about the environment.and why it is important to recycle. Also, the illustraters used recycled materials to produce the amazing art shown in the b...more
Elisabeth W.  Rauch
I put off reading this expecting a lot of liberal crock about how we make too much garbage... Instead, I was laughing out loud reading a story about a situation in New York in 1987 when they were trying to find solutions for all of their trash. They loaded it on a barge to ship to North Carolina where it would be buried by a farmer. Instead, the boat was refused everywhere it went, and spent over 120 days looking for a place to go! The pictures were fantastic and the story was, too. It encourage...more
Shannon Pauley
Used for SRP 2014
Nicholas Graham
Very cool--this is based on the true story of a New York town that had so much garbage that it had to load some of it onto a barge. The captain takes the boat to port after port but keeps getting turned away. Meanwhile, the garbage is becoming more and more malodouruous. Here is great video that shows how the models were made using a variety of materials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKag0L...

This is a great book to teach us all about the need to reuse, recycle and, more importantly, reduce.
Emily Hilkemann
In 1987 the city of Islip, New York had a problem. Too much garbage! So they tried to give their problem to someone else, but no one wanted to take on someone else’s garbage. “Here Comes the Garbage Barge” is based on the true story of a town that had way too much garbage. It’s a fun story for kids in first through third or fourth grade, with unique and slightly funky illustrations by Red Nose Studio.

Winter, J. (2010). Here comes the garbage barge! New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.
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