Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth sets out to create environmental chefs with its tempting recipe for Compost Stew! Children of both genders and multiple cultural backgrounds recite and illustrate the ingredients from A-Z. Periodically, the listing is broken up with this fun chorus:
Just add to the pot
and let it all rot
into Compost Stew.
After the ingredients are all added, moistened, tossed lightly, and covered, it must brew for a while. When the stew is complete, the Earth will have a dark, rich treat!
The text by Mary McKenna Siddals is educational and entertaining. I love its rhythm. It has a great natural energy and flow. Here is a sample:
And an Insect or two
from dryer traps
Artist Ashley Wolff creates fitting visuals using gouache and collage along with recycled materials, such as newspapers, cloth, leaves, pictures, bugs, and much more! The vibrant and dramatic illustrations are textured and multi-dimensional. Parent and classroom educators can use the art as a spring board for kids to create their own collages using materials from around the house or class. Young and old will be enticed into looking at this book over and over again for the liveliness and detail on each page.
The target audience is ages 3-8. Preschoolers will love practicing their alphabet with Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth. They will also learn to identify the words and pictures of several everyday items (tea bags, bread crusts, grass clippings) as well as some potentially new ones (laundry lint, seaweed strands, quarry dust). Also, opportunities to practice identifying rhyme and alliteration (same beginning sounds) are offered in the text. Older children will benefit from learning how to recycle food and plant waste in a manner that is both socially responsible and environmentally beneficial.
I am thrilled to have Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth in my home library.