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.
Environmental chefs, here’s a recipe for you to fix from scratch to mix a batch of Compost Stew.
Coffee grounds with filters, used
Excerpted from Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals. Copyright © 2010 by Mary McKenna Siddals/Ashley Wolff. Excerpted by permission of Tricycle Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About Mary McKenna Siddals
Mary McKenna Siddals is the author of several picture books for the very young, among them the critically acclaimed Millions of Snowflakes. In addition, she has written dozens of children’s stories, articles, poems and activities appearing in a variety of magazines across North America, including Owl, where she was the Puzzles ‘n’ Fun columnist for some time. A former teacher, she lives in British Columbia, Canada, where she enjoys being close to nature and spending time with her family, as well as tending to her own batch of Compost Stew.
About Ashley Wolff
Ashley has been an artist since she declared herself one at the age of 5.
She grew up in Middlebury Vermont. Ashley’s ties to Vermont remain strong and she still spends part of every year in Middlebury. Even as a high school student, Ashley planted a huge vegetable garden and had a “hot” compost pile in a chicken wire cage.
She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979 and her first job after college was working as a graphic artist at a small newspaper in Vermont. There she met her husband, Sabin Russell and together they moved to San Francisco in 1980.
Sabin Russell is a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Before becoming a full time author/illustrator, Ashley worked at The Pacific Sun newspaper in Marin County. Throughout her years in California Ashley has continued to paint large-scale indoor and outdoor murals throughout the SF Bay area.
Ashley is the author and/or illustrator of over 55 children’s picture books including Baby Beluga, Stella and Roy Go Camping, Me Baby, You Baby, The Wild Little Horse, Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?, I Call My Grandma Nana and the beloved Miss Bindergarten Series. Her books have won numerous state and national awards.
For 24 years one of Ashley’s favorite pastimes is traveling to schools all over the US, speaking to children about writing, drawing and using their imaginations to help them find their own paths to the future.
Ashley lives next door to a community garden plot in San Francisco, has a large back yard garden and keeps 4 worm bins busy with her kitchen scraps.
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."
"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
FINALIST Bank Street Child Study Children's Book Award