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THE DUMPSTER DIVER by Janet S. Wong Kirkus Star


by Janet S. Wong & illustrated by David Roberts

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7636-2380-6
Publisher: Candlewick

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)