Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Red Nose Studio, was released last month and has received some great reviews. The book, published by Schwartz + Wade, is available through Amazon. Check out this amazing video to see how the art was made.

This fable, based on an actual incident in 1987, has its plasticized tongue planted firmly in its polymer cheek. Red Nose Studio created each of these illustrations out of wire, cloth, clay and, to put it bluntly, trash. What better medium for a book about a barge that totes 3,168 tons of garbage from Islip, N.Y., to Belize and back again -- stopping along the way in North Carolina, New Orleans, Mexico, Texas and Florida. Did any place welcome the Break of Dawn and its stinky load? Not the police . . . the mayor . . . the coast guard . . . and especially not the Mexican Navy. Equal opportunity stereotyping abounds: Gino Stroffolino, the archetypical New York mobster, says "dis" and "dat"; the Mayor of New Orleans wears Mardi Gras beads; south of the border they pack pistols and sport handlebar mustaches; and Floridians are old and white and float around in rubber-ducky inner tubes. Cautionary? Yes. Hilarious? You betcha! By Kristi Jemtegaard, The Washington Post

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!!!” By Jay Freeman, Booklist

red_nose_studio