Illustrations © Mary Beth Owens

The Dump Man’s Treasures

by Lynn Plourde Illustrated by Mary Beth Owens Down East Books, 2008

Back when dumps were called dumps, not landfills or
recycling center, way up . . . in the small village
of Shiretown, Maine, Mr. Pottle was the dump man.

He certainly would answer if someone called him by his
real names, Bill or Mr. Pottle. But must folks just called
him the dump man. He didn’t mind. That was his job,
and he loved it.

And, oh, the treasures he’d find!

Best of all were the books.

Mr. Pottle waggled his finger. “Shame, shame! Books are
treasures. You don’t throw away treasures!”

But people did throw away books so Mr. Pottle started a dump library—letting people borrow or keep the books that were discarded each week at the dump. In no time, the shelves to the dump library were overflowing so the dump man needed a new plan. He wheeled a wobbly old grocery cart around town—to nursing homes, back-alley apartments, even along the riverbank where the homeless folks slept—giving away books, books, and more books. But early one Saturday morning on the busiest dump day of the week, Mr. Pottle was nowhere to be found. The kids set out on their bikes to find him. And they did—but he was in trouble. Find out what happened to the dump man and his books and his poignant surprise at the end of the story.

Honors

Smithsonian Magazine’s Notable Books for Children, 2008

Independent Publishers Bronze Award (IPPY) for Picture Books, 2009

Maine’s Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book selection for National Book Festival, 2009


Reviews

Children's picturebook with a strong positive message about literacy . . . A wonderful story about the joy of learning to read, featuring heartwarming and colorful artwork by award-winning illustrator Mary Beth Owens.
Midwest Book Review

The Dump Man's Treasures is a book for our times, a book to love if you are an environmentalist concerned about waste, a librarian who loves books more than anything else, or a teacher who values the ability to read as a person's most essential skill . . . Illustrated in Owens' characteristic cozy and appealing water color illustrations, this book is a celebration of recycling, books, reading, and community, and one you will not want to miss.  
LM_NET

Plourde's feel-good tale of recycling and community . . . (and) Mr. Pottle's obvious love for what he does holds great appeal. Owens's soft, realistic watercolors nicely complement this gentle tale.
Kirkus

Video

Used with permission by:
Down East Books
PO Box 679
Camden, ME 04843
207-594-9544
https://secure.downeast.com/books/maine/