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4.8 out of 5 stars35
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What a unique an engaging book! The illustrations are fascinating and I really loved the rhymes. It's not often that an alphabet book flows along so seamlessly, especially one that tackles such a unique subject. This works well as a read aloud and I think would be even better with one on one sharing so everyone can fully enjoy the captivating illustrations. This is a perfect choice for any preschool or kindergarten classroom looking to introduce environmental issues and activities, since creating a compost stew is something anyone can do! A huge recommend both for the text and illustrations.
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The compost bin is open and ready to accept a few additions so "environmental chefs" can whip up some "Compost Stew." Get ready to listen, and you'll find a list of ingredients from A to Z that are just perfect for Compost Stew. A young girl with a gorgeous mane of curly red hair has apple cores, a dalmatian is running with bruised bananas, and a goose has coffee grounds still in their paper filter. "Dirt clods, crumbled / Eggshells, crushed / Fruit pulp left behind, all mushed / Grass clippings / Hair snippings / and an Insect or two." There are many interesting ingredients in the stew that you might not think of.

Into the pot everything goes. It's all mixed together and will eventually rot and turn into Compost Stew. You might think of saving jack-o'-lanterns, but how about the lint that has collected in your dryer trap? A little dab of oatmeal will work and even seaweed is welcome into the bin. "Just add to the pot / and let it all rot / into Compost Stew." There are so many things that can be used in the bin that will eventually turn into rich soil. Can you think of anything that could be added to your bin to make Compost Stew?

This book is a marvelously ingenious way to teach everyone many things about composting the easy way. The "instructions" are very easy and fun to follow as this ABC story in rhyme wends its way through the pages showing us many things that can be composted. Many more young people are interested in doing their share to help create a better Earth and composting is not only educational, but a lot of fun. There are several instructional books available, but this one is perfect for the youngest gardeners. They will not only listen and learn, they will also have some great visual artwork to learn from. If you are thinking about how you will teach your children to appreciate the Earth, this book is probably one you are going to add to your list!
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on August 4, 2012
This rhyming book makes it easy to learn what goes into the compost pile. It goes through the alphabet with things you can add - from "Apple cores" and "Bananas, bruised" all the way to "Zinnia heads whose blooming days are through". The illustrations are really adorable, too.

There's also an additional block of text at the back that explains composting (more for older kids, or for adults who'd like more info). :)

My sister purchased this for our son when he was a year old, and he loved it then. He's almost 3 now, and still asks for it regularly. It is a HUGE hit with both the kids & the moms at our preschool co-op.

If something happened to our copy, I would purchase it again in a heartbeat. It's that good. Enjoy!
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on April 11, 2011
This is a simple, yet very well written alphabet book packed with tons of information about composting. My students and I have just started composting at our school, and this was one of our sources. I did not rely on this exclusively, of course, but used it as a starting point. They have returned to it several times this year, and will be reading it to the younger students. This should definitely be in one of your classroom library baskets.
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on April 16, 2014
Compost Stew is now tops on my five-star list of alphabet books for kids!

The combination of author and illustrator is superb and will no doubt entertain and educate the youngest of readers. Teaching our children about composting is so important for the future of planet Earth. I highly recommend this book as a beginner guide to introduce children to composting as a way of turning trash into treasure.

Children of all ages - yes, Adult, this means you - will appreciate this beauty of an ABC book.
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on April 24, 2014
Ashley Wolff’s engaging collage illustrations are a delight. She is a very talented illustrator. Mary McKenna Siddals writes the A to Z recipe of what can go into a compost, including “grass clippings, hair snippings, and an insect or two.” She cleverly weaves the compost recipe into the rhyming text.

Compost Stew is a perfect book to celebrate Earth Day, every day. The book serves as a fantastic introduction to composting, especially if you would like to try it with your children this spring. There’s also a little note at the back of the book about what’s not fit for the compost. I always found my primary school students to be eager environmentalists whenever we talked about earth-friendly activities. Composting their food scraps made more sense than putting more garbage into the landfills.

Giselle Shardlow
Kids Yoga Stories
Author of several yoga stories, including Sophia's Jungle Adventure
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on October 14, 2013
I work at a green school and am always looking for ways to teach my younger students about being green. Compost Stew is a great introduction into what make compost. After reading it to older students, we did more investigating using online databases. A good anticipatory set.
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on June 5, 2014
Terrific book for nursery-kindergarten age children with enough information for 1st graders who are interested in nature. Highly recommended, especially since composting books for this age group are hard to find.
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on November 22, 2015
A fun, useful book about the ingredients in a successful compost bin, done in alphabet format. Illustrations are beautiful and clear. Even children with short attention spans are drawn into this book.
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on September 3, 2012
I received a copy of this to review on my green living blog and loved it so much that I bought a second copy to give to my son's kindergarten teacher. She had borrowed our copy twice to read to her classes and was thrilled to have her own copy. The author was even kind enough to send me signature plates to put in the books!

I highly recommend purchasing this book for children of any age. The lovely sing-song reading is fun and the illustrations are simply perfect!
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