The Dumpster Diver
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The Dumpster Diver

5.0 1
by David Roberts
     
 

One person’s trash is another persons’s treasure in this vivid picture-book ode to creative recycling — and to loyal friends.

Anyone can dive for treasure in the ocean, but Steve dives for it in his neighborhood dumpster! As he delves into the trash each weekend, Steve encourages his young neighbors (aka the Diving Team) to see the

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Overview

One person’s trash is another persons’s treasure in this vivid picture-book ode to creative recycling — and to loyal friends.

Anyone can dive for treasure in the ocean, but Steve dives for it in his neighborhood dumpster! As he delves into the trash each weekend, Steve encourages his young neighbors (aka the Diving Team) to see the potential in what other people throw away. With a little bit of imagination, trash can be transformed into treasure — and as the Diving Team soon discovers, it might even help a friend in need.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
A self-described "dumpster diver," artist Kerry Wade, who crafts chairs from old skis, is named by Janet Wong as the inspiration for this book. Told by a first-person narrator, it's the story of a neighbor, Steve the Electrician, who "dives for buried treasure/ right smack here/ in our backstreet alley." It's a dramatic beginning to this quirky story, as Steve gussies up for the occasion in a diving suit, and gathers his team. Everyone has a role, and it's clear that dumpster diving is no easy task. But it's after the treasures are collected that the real magic begins. Some things get crafted into lamps and tables, Some are gifts perfect for their recipients. Only the grouchy neighbor disagrees with this endeavor, so when Steve gets injured, it seems she might have the last laugh. Or then again, maybe not. Cheerful watercolor and ink illustrations are enhanced by cut-paper and tape overlays of various kinds that serve to frame the text. The visual clutter is cleverly appropriate to the theme, and will give young readers the opportunity to locate a vast array of objects of varying degrees of eccentricity. A whimsical treatment of the theme of recycled art.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2
This urban trash-to-treasure tale will resonate with city dwellers and send suburbanites and kids in rural areas searching for similar adventures. A boy waits at his bedroom window for his adult neighbor Steve, a.k.a. "the dumpster diver," to set things in motion. Five taps come on the boy's window and two other young residents of the building also receive the signal to report to duty. The children are "Hose Handler #1," "Hose Handler #2," and "The Fauceteer." Armies of insects are dislodged when Steve dives into the back-alley Dumpster and hauls out seemingly worthless junk, but worth is in the eyes of the beholder, and the three assistants share his reverence for discarded objects. Broken skis, blenders, and lamps can all be reincarnated, and half the fun is finding a tenant who will appreciate some newly fashioned object. Steve's enthusiasm and creativity are so infectious that neither he nor his helpers are deterred by the building grouch, who thinks that the man should get a real job. The text aptly appears on torn scraps of paper or, in the case of the final words, a Band-Aid that Steve will need, having incurred a "work related" injury and convalescing in a homemade wheelchair! With his unmatched gloves and flippers, goggles, and hooded yellow slicker, Steve is a lovable comic figure. Roberts portrays him with a playful elasticity that perfectly matches Wong's playful story.
—Gloria KosterCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Sandwiched between wonderfully gross-out endpapers, this distinctly urban tale introduces a wild-haired handyman named Steve who furnishes his apartment with recycled junk. And how does he procure his materials? By dressing in (discarded, of course) diving gear and plunging full body into his neighborhood's dumpsters-assisted by a corps of eager young neighbors who hose the diver and his loot down while offering such commentary as, "Diving Rule number one is: Keep your mouth shut. (This is especially important when the roaches start flying!)." Having helped Steve turn an old blender into a lava lamp, revive a dead computer, create new vehicles from broken skis and skateboards and other ingenious feats of reclamation, his crew leaps into the breach when he himself is laid up by a dumpster accident-going door to door to collect just the right detritus to construct a wheeled chair. Illustrated in cleanly drawn cartoon jumbles strewn with smiling faces and broken junk of all description, this cheery episode will have young readers (those, at least, without an aversion to creepy-crawlies) thoughtfully examining the castoffs in their own neighborhoods. (Picture book. 6-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763623807
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
02/13/2007
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,133,293
Product dimensions:
10.18(w) x 11.72(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
AD920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Janet S. Wong is the author of several books and poetry collections for children, including APPLE PIE FOURTH OF JULY, HIDE & SEEK, BUZZ, and THE RAINBOW HAND: POEMS ABOUT MOTHERS AND CHILDREN. She lives in Hopewell, New Jersey.

David Roberts is the author and illustrator of the Bertie books, as well as the illustrator of the Eddie Dickens trilogy by Philip Ardagh and of the Little Red books and RAPUNZEL: A GROOVY FAIRY TALE, all by Lynn Roberts. David Roberts lives in London.

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