Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth

by Mary McKenna Siddals, Ashley Wolff
     
 

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From apple cores to zinnia heads, readers will discover the best ingredients for a successful compost pile!
 
Kids everywhere are knowledgeable about the environment and climate change. Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start aSee more details below

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Overview

From apple cores to zinnia heads, readers will discover the best ingredients for a successful compost pile!
 
Kids everywhere are knowledgeable about the environment and climate change. Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? Perfect for an Earth Day focus or year-round reference, this inviting book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—An easy recipe for soil enrichment. Well written in rhyming text, the descriptive phrases are as engaging as a list of, well, garbage might be: "Dirt clods, crumbled/Eggshells crushed/Fruit pulp left behind, all mushed/Grass clippings/Hair snippings/and an Insect or two/Just add to the pot/and let it all rot/into Compost Stew." Collage illustrations, also made of recycled ingredients, reinforce the theme of reusing materials to create something new. As colorful and charming as the compositions are, the human and animal figures are flat and uninspiring. Student environmental groups might use this recipe to expand school recycling efforts and create compost for vegetable and flower gardens, or to give away to community members. Using cafeteria scraps, recycled paper, and grass clippings would teach students how to make this rich, robust stew work for their own school gardens and, literally and figuratively, improve the earth. This book is recommended as a general addition to library collections and a primary selection for in-school environmental education. Use it with Linda Glaser's Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow (Millbrook, 2010), Raymond Bial's A Handful of Dirt (Walker, 2000), or Bianca Lavies's Compost Critters (Dutton, 1993).—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Publishers Weekly
“Environmental chefs,/ here's a recipe for you/ to fix from scratch/ to mix a batch/ of Compost Stew,” invites a girl with curly titian hair. Letters stand for different components of what goes into a compost pile, and Wolff's cut-paper collages depict a multicultural group of kids, as well as a dalmatian and a goose, working together to collect material (“Dirt clods, crumbled,/ Eggshells, crushed/ Fruit pulp left behind, all mushed”): “And when the cooking is complete,/ Mother Earth will/ have a treat,/ dark and crumbly,/ rich and sweet.” An exuberant primer for green-minded kids. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
A rollicking, rhyming alphabetical recipe for making successful compost. Aiming at young readers and even younger listeners, Siddals keeps the tone light while providing easy instructions on how everyone can participate in this eco-friendly activity. Bright pictures in collage created with recycled and found items are not only well-executed but recall the texture of the materials and tactile experience of the characters in the book. Wolff features a diverse cast of people of all ages collecting, saving, hauling and tossing ingredients to "[j]ust add to the pot / and let it all rot / into Compost Stew." Kids will also enjoy spotting the frisky Dalmatian and/or helpful duck on each spread. The title begins with an author's note explaining the roles of lesser-known items and why they make good compost and closes with a "Chef's Note" cautioning all to pay special attention to local regulations as those presented are general recommendations. Consider this recipe an ideal, accessible title to expand composting information for budding environmentalists. (Informational picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
Review, CM Magazine, October 15, 2010:
"An imaginative and engaging introduction to the concept of composting."

Review, Through the Looking Glass, June 1, 2010:
"This wonderful rhyming picture book will show children how easy, and how fun, composting can be."

Review, San Francisco Chronicle:
"Bouncy rhymes and busy collage art zip along as everything from apple cores to zinnia heads gets tossed into a rich and rotting soil-bound mix. A potentially heavy-handed message is delivered with a light touch so that you want to start your own waste heap right away. Mission accomplished!"

Review, Washington Post:
"When it comes to promoting environmentalism, there's no harm in starting young....Ashley Wolff's collage-style illustrations, made from newspaper, tea bags and other recycled materials, echo writer Mary McKenna Siddals's message of reducing waste."

Review, Booklist:
"This title highlights a subject rarely covered in youth books and provides a lighthearted introduction to an earth- and kid-friendly activity. The brightly patterned collage artwork featuring a cast of multicultural kids working together will easily draw a young audience."

Compost Stew is beautiful, poetic, evocative—and educational. It provides such vital, important information for children (and adults) to understand and embrace, and to put into practice! This book greatly respects its readers, and I hope it will become as widely read and popular as it deserves. 
–Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook and Pretend Soup

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582463162
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/23/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
329,302
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

Environmental chefs, here’s a recipe for you to fix from scratch to mix a batch of Compost Stew.
 
Ingredients:
Apple cores
Bananas, bruised
Coffee grounds with filters, used

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