Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear

Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear

Matt Dray
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 8
Kane/Miller, 2005   ISBN: 978-1929132782

Dougal is an old bear. There is no way to avoid this truth, and unfortunately because he is old he is not very wanted. The little girl who owns him does not play with him much anymore and the other toys don't seem to want to talk to him either. One day when the little girl has a tea party with the toys in the garden, Dougal gets left behind. Worse still he gets rained on and then the little girl's father does the unforgivable thing - he throws Dougal away.

Soon Dougal finds himself in a most extraordinary place - the rubbish dump. Dougal is found and adopted by one of the men who works at the dump and the two become fast friends. Before long the man finds a stuffed bumble bee called Bumble who becomes Dougal?s best friend and with whom he has all sorts of adventures. Over time more and more abandoned and thrown away toys join Dougal and Bumble. There are teddies of all kinds and sizes, dogs, elephants, rabbits and many more until there are forty-five lost toys needing a home. What on earth is to be done with them all?

This charming story about a bear who learns to "make the best of it" is touching, funny, and a delight to read. Presented in the form of a scrapbook complete with tape, paw prints, cup stains, torn page corners and lots of photographs of Dougal, his world, and his stuffed animal friends, this picture book is sure to entertain and to encourage children to realize that sometimes something good can come out of something bad.

Children will love to know that this tale is based on a true story, and that Dougal and his friends were really found in a garbage dump by the author.