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

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  898 Ratings  ·  146 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Schwartz & Wade (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Monica Edinger
Mar 11, 2010 Monica Edinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
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
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
Apr 15, 2014 Margaux rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: k-5th grade
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
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: 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
Apr 10, 2011 Salina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gerardo Mendoza-Tovar
Jonah Winter’s explains the problem of dealing with the garbage barge made from the town of Islip in Long Island 1987. Captain Duffy St. Pierre, a sailor, had to transport the load of garbage to another location. He ended up going from place to place to try to dump the garbage, but no one was letting him. After 162 days, the captain finally hears that he can drop off the garbage at an incinerator in Brooklyn. The captain unloaded the garbage and went back home feeling relieved.
This book was ver
Zoe Lampman
Here Comes the Garbage Barge, by Jonah Winter, is based on the true story of when the city of Islip, NY ran out of space in its landfill for all of their garbage in 1986. The town's government decided to put all of the trash on a barge and travel down the US coast to see if any other cities can dispose of it. They had no luck. This children's book is a fictionalized version of the true event that teaches children of the dangers our throw-away society has on our health and environment. The book's ...more
This stories hits on an important issue, the vast amount of garbage in our earth. It starts off be telling the readers about Islip, a small town on Long Island, who has a major issue. Islip has 3,168 tons of garbage and nowhere to put it. Garbage business man, Gino Stroffolino, sends out captain Cap’m Duffy St. Pierre and a little tugboat named the Break of Dawn to tug out the rusty old Garbage Barge out to the East Coast of America. They stop at North Carolina, but no one wants the Garbage ther ...more
How many of you recycle at home? (students raise hands) Why do you recycle? (allow a few short responses) Where does the trash you don’t recycle go? Here Comes the Garbage Barge is based on a true story in New York. The story is mostly true, but the characters are fictional or made up. They ran out of room for all of their trash and were trying to find other places to put it. Would you want someone dumping their trash in your backyard? As we read,also pay attention to the illustrations. We will ...more
Kathryn Carlsen
Mar 21, 2015 Kathryn Carlsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
I absolutely loved this book. The illustrations blew me away. They weren't drawn. They were a combination of real objects and clay. The characters were so well detailed. And the text was wonderful. I could hear the voices of the characters as I read the story. It was a funny story of a captain listening to a big shot in New York to decide where to put all of the excess garbage. He travels around the United States and into Mexico to find a place to dump the garbage. I think it can also teach chil ...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.
An amusing and accessible cautionary tale for kids that reinforces the ideas of reusing and recycling. Kids will pore over the details of the photo-illustrations with characters that look like marionette puppets. (Cap'm Duffy wearing the gas mask is particularly funny.) Will make a great read-aloud as well what with the outsized characters. ("Okay, okay," said Mr. Stroffolino. "Take da garbage back to Long Island. But I gotta coupla places you could try along da way.") Based on the true story of ...more
Jul 24, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Jun 26, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Here Comes The Garbage Barge is a wonderful tool for showing children the necessity of recycling and handling garbage in the cleanest ways. It contains historical information of a barge that was out at sea for more than 150 days with real garbage, looking for a place to deposit the garbage. This book would captivate older elementary age students with its curious storyline, factual statistics, and even geographical information as the barge travels to different countries and states. It would be a ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 19, 2011 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
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
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
Feb 22, 2011 Q_Jill Burke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
An interesting story - but so much more so when you think about the fact that it's based on a true story!

And the art in the book was fascinating - since I had a library copy without a book jacket, I had to look up how it was made. The photographs give the book more depth than normal illustrations could have.
I really enjoyed this story but I really did not enjoy the artwork. I don't understand why claymation-type work means scary-looking faces. I feel like the artwork will turn people away as much as the fact that the book is about garbage.
J. Bryce
Didn't actually read this to the kids today -- it's too long for the 2-5 age group -- but I'd read it to kids in the past.

Nicely illustrated mostly-true story of the New York garbage barge that couldn't find a place to dump.
Jan 27, 2015 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true story of a Long Island town's garbage scheme in the late 1980s and the poor barge captain that got stuck with the smelly job of trying to find a place that would accept the stinking trash of another city's residents.
Kathy Hale
Mar 17, 2015 Kathy Hale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oboc2015
A good book to use to teach recycling and environmental science. the town of Islip tries to boat their garbage all over but with no success. Great illustrations. It looks like claymation.
Lissa Davies
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
Monica Gerlach
Aug 25, 2015 Monica Gerlach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-books
I would probably only give this book 3.5 stars but my toddler is it gets 5 from us! The illustrations are fun and my son loves the language used in this book.
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