About the Holiday
Composting is a wonderful way to use organic waste to help the environment. Whether you keep a small composting container in your kitchen, set aside a pile in the corner of your yard, or invest in a compost tumbler, letting non-meat or dairy kitchen scraps, outdoor vegetation cuttings, and even hair or dryer lint decompose into nourishing soil additives will make your garden grow bigger and better!
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
Written by Mary McKenna Siddals | Illustrated by Ashley Wolff
“Environmental chefs, / here’s a recipe for you / to fix from scratch / to mix a batch / of Compost Stew.” This clever alphabet book reveals the ABCs of gathering the perfect ingredients for a compost pile, which creates a nutritious meal for gardens, flower beds, and the environment:
“Apple cores / Bananas, bruised / Coffee grounds with filters, used / 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.”
The catchy rhymes and easy-to-follow directions will make kids excited about saving left-overs, raking up fallen leaves, and shredding paper to add to the pile. Readers may also be surprised by some of the other items that will decompose to make rich soil, such as seaweed, laundry lint, and teabags. Three simple steps for cooking up compost stew follow the alphabet, and create a refrain that kids will love to repeat.
Mary McKenna Siddals brings the science of composting and recycling to kids in a fun, interactive way. Children may even like to think of their own ingredients for each letter of the alphabet. The author’s note at the end of the book reveals substitute ingredients as well as items that are not appropriate or safe for composting.
Ashley Wolff’s brilliant, textured collage artwork depicts four multicultural kids (along with their helpful Dalmatian and goose) gathering the ingredients for their compost bag wherever they are—in the yard, in the kitchen, at the hair salon, at the beach, and more.
Kids interested in gardening and environmental issues will love to have Compost Stew on their bookshelf.
Ages 3 – 8
Dragonfly Books, Random House, 2014 | ISBN 978-0385755382
Learn about Composting Day Activity
Creative Composting Word Search
Composting takes individual ingredients and combines them to create nourishing soil. Can you find the words that relate to this environmental science in this printable Creative Composting Word Search? Here’s the Solution.
Picture Book Review
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What a treat to discover my COMPOST STEW being featured for Learn about Composting Day! Thanks so much, Kathy, for shining such a generous spotlight on my book with your lovely review and word search puzzle. I look forward to sharing your post on the Facebook page for the book, and welcome readers to dig into these additional activities and resources: http://www.siddals.com/compost-stew.html
Reviewing COMPOST STEW was definitely my pleasure, Mary! Your book’s such a beautiful and clever way to get kids of all ages excited about composting and environmental issues. Your website is amazing too, with its fabulous activities, games, and other resources for readers! Thanks for sharing my post on your Facebook page!