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Compost Stew
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Compost Stew

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  57 reviews
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 inc
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Tricycle Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 326)
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VegasGal
Great book for children to learn environmentally friendly activities like composting all wrapped up in an easy to remember A-Z "recipe" - very cute, it even made me want to get outside and make my own stew! The only thing is that the author left out a critical part in the book. No where does it explain exactly what "compost/composting" is in a kid friendly version, it just starts out with the recipe assuming that a child already knows what compost means. Sure parents can explain it to their chil ...more
Mary Ann
With lively rhymes and delightful illustrations, this alphabet book helps children think about all the different things we can put in the compost and help the Earth. “Apple cores,/ Bananas, bruised/ Coffee grounds with filters used” - these are just the beginning of ingredients that can go into a compost stew. Some ingredients will be familiar, others new: “Jack-o-lanterns/ Kitchen scraps/ Laundry lint from dryer traps.” The illustrations draw students right into this story, showing kids involve ...more
Sarah Sammis
When we moved to our current home we made the decision to compost. Given where we'd be keeping it and the wide range of temperatures that our patio goes through over the course of a year (from freezing to over 100° F) we knew it wouldn't make sense to get a worm composter. We opted for a bin that just relies on microbial decomposition.

My son was two when he helped me build the compost bin. For my daughter, it's just been a permanent feature of our balcony garden her entire life. Composting is wh
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RachelAnne
The multimedia illustrations are full of energy and fun, though they're a little too busy. The alphabetical listing of compost ingredients is a great way to engage children in environmentally-friendly activities, as well as a good segue into dirt science. Fun!
Algona Public
A collage of recycled and found materials illustrate the message of this book. Siddal's and Wolff's story uses the alphabet as a structure for the main idea: composting. Simultaneously, the illustrations create a depth and sense of texture bringing the story out of it's pages and driving home the point of environmentally friendly activity. Educational focus is further revealed at the end of the book with the Chef's Note on what not to add to compost. An entertaining, poetic, beautiful, and educa ...more
Lari
I'd use this book for teaching about compost and about decomposers (worms and bugs that eat the compost) in the food cycle. It could also be used as example of cut-out paper art if you were doing a lesson on the art style, such as the Matisse paper cut-outs.
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
I found this book as I was looking for good recycling environmental books to use for a story time. This is a really good Alphabet book to use at any time but especially for Earth Day. Composting is an important way to recycle biodegradable garbage and help plants grow Mary McKenna Siddals book aims to teach what should go in a compost pile to the youngest of environmentalists. Like most alphabet books each letter is given a word with it that fits the theme, from apple cores to zinnia blossoms. T ...more
Jordan Cummings
I thought this was a really creative way to show children the appropriate things to put in your compost. The items were listed A-Z and they also rhymed. I thought that was a really cool element to this book. I liked the illustrations and the meaning of the book. It would be a perfect book to let kids know the kind of things that are recyclable and that can be put back into the earth without harming it. However, I wish the author would have explained to the reader what “compost” is. Other than th ...more
Heather
Very fun ABC book with illustrations from cut paper that are vibrant and amusing
Glenna
This is an amazing picture book that incorporates the alphabet and the "ingredients" for compost in a colorful and artistic way. The author uses vivid imagery of child composting and the "ingredients" in order to capture a child's attention. The main audience for this book is nursery and primary school children. The author also uses rhyming words to give the story a fun flow. I used this book in my own preschool class when I introduced the concept of composting. The children were so excited to g ...more
Molly Robbins
This would be a great lesson for Kindergarten because the book is about an A to Z recipe for the Earth, so it would be a great way to review the alphabet along with learning information about science. It also goes through every letter throughout the book so you could introduce mnemonics and how they are a helpful tool to describe/remember/understand a concept. This is a fun book to use for any grade because it is talking about earth science. This is such a integral science literature book that I ...more
Lissa Davies
Compost Stew uses bouncy, rhyming text to name the ingredients for great compost, from apples to zinnias. The recurring refrain, “ Just add to the pot / and let it all rot / into Compost Stew”, reminds students of the book’s purpose.

A welcome addition to your alphabet book collection. Kindergarten and grade one will enjoy the alphabet and rhymes, while grade 4’s can use the book to create their own compost as part of the ‘Waste in our Word’ science unit. Grades K-4
paula
So engaging and interesting, I didn't realize it was also an ABC book until I reached W! Ashley Wolff's collage and gouache illustrations incorporate so many subject-appropriate scraps - food wrappers, newspaper, pictures of food and flowers - that each page is a treasure hunt. A multicultural cast of children load up the composter with garden waste, kitchen scraps, and all kinds of things that would otherwise go in the garbage. Fun to read and informative to boot.
Eva Leger
Sep 03, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eva by: library
Shelves: julias-books
I happen to like ABC books and books with rhyming text are some of my favorites. Julia can agree with me on both of these things but this fell flat for both of us. I like the premise and Julia is very into recycling at the moment so when I saw this at the library I figured it'd be a great addition to our weekly check-outs. I was wrong. I can't say we hated it and Julia adored the pictures, they were her favorite, and possible only, part she really liked.
Natalie  Harvey
So pleasantly surprised by this book! The rhymes are clever, catchy and gross - sure to enchant listeners and make them laugh. The collage illustrations emphasize the environmental focus - and they're just neat-looking. Sure, it's an alphabet book, but it works across all grade levels - there's so much to glean from this little treasure. It can serve as an introduction to an earth unit, a stand-alone Earth Day read-aloud, or just an earthy adventure of the ABCs.
Chris
A "rhyming recipe" on what to add into a stew of goodies to make rich compost:

"Environmental chefs,
here's a recipe for you
to fix from scratch
to mix a batch
of Compost Stew."

From A (apple cores) to Z (zinnia heads) it's an unforced alphabet of all sorts of things you can put into compost.There's an AUTHOR'S NOTE at the beginning and CHEF'S NOTE at the end are full of info - and some is very cleverly funny.
Renee
An A to Z book that lists things that can be composted. Text is short enough for toddler/preschool age audience and includes rhymes. Beautiful illustrations using gouache and collage.

Would be good with Summer Reading Program 2013: Dig Into Reading or for a unit about worms. Don't think I'll but it for our library when considering the needs of our collection and community, but still a nice book to know about.
Amanda Funnell
Alphabet and rhyming both! This book would be phenomenal to integrate literature into a science lesson about composting or decomposition and plants.
Haley Hamilton
Would be good to incorporate science and literacy together. Lists materials and ingredients needed to create compost stew. Could extend to have students make a class compost and use the soil to grow something the class choosing. Also lists ingredients with every letter of the alphabet so it could be used for alphabet knowledge as well.
Alyssa Mozelle
We found this at the library and since we were 1. working on our ABC's and 2. learning to compost we picked it up.

It QUICKLY became a favorite for my 5-year-old and a year later we finally bought it since the library in our new location doesn't carry it.

I couldn't recommend this book enough.
Christy Whitaker
This book is certainly unique. Who would have thought to write a children's book on biodegradable items? Very clever, Mary, and it has some rhyming and repetition! This book is a good way to teach kids how to take action to aide in saving the land and environmental awareness.
Dee
Aug 26, 2010 Dee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gardeners especially with children
Shelves: children-s-books
Very informative and a good book about composting. The illustrations were really cool. They were cuts outs using different materials, newspaper, fabrics, photographs of items etc. The ryhming in the book was also very catchy. A great way to teach children to recycle.
Alice
This was a simple and green book! I liked that is used recycled elements in the pictures...I wouldn't give it a 4 or 5 star but it will tie in nicely to our Summer Reading program "Dig into Reading" It is also a good alphabet books but it would be more for a 1st Grader...
Little Miss and the Legomeister
I didn't expect to like this much, I thought it would feel preachy.

But I loved it. It wasn't preachy at all. And I liked the verse. Good verse can really make a book. And it's in alphabet format, which is cute. The illustrations were also good; vibrant and interesting.
Kristen Dota
Compost Stew is an excellent book to teach young children their alphabet, and to follow along to recipes. This is a great book to sit down and read to your children pointing to which letter comes after in the alphabet. This book is a fantastic tool when it comes to learning!
Heather
Nice basic introduction to composting for kids... Just wish our yard was big enough to have a bin.
Rocheal Hoffman
Fantastic step-by-step how to compost. Lists essential ingredients-- even some unexpected. Great illustrations. Good way to start a compost at school and use the soil to grow something in the class or at school.
Vj
I learned a couple things about composting that I did not know. Nice A,B,C format that worked well for this topic. Collage illustrations add depth and interest. Would recommend for Earth Day/Week reading.
Teniesha Kessler
A delightful alphabet book that teaches children what can be thrown in the compost, featuring delightful and amazingly detailed collage illustrations. A must-have for environmentally-minded individuals!
Chris Young
A wonderful poetry book to introduce students to composting, sustainability and environmental studies. Use this book for your unit on gardening or to get kids excited about the school garden!
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