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Clear, vivid photos give this simple introduction to composting a realistic look that makes the process look downright doable. Based on the text of Glaser's Compost! Growing Gardens from Your Garbage (1996), which was illustrated with watercolors, the wording here is sometimes identical and sometimes reworked. Most of Rotner's excellent photos feature one or two children as they scrape their dinner plates into a bucket indoors, add kitchen and yard waste to the compost bin outside, observe the leaves and food rotting over time, add the compost to their vegetable garden, put new plants into the ground, and watch them grow. The kids look comfortable with the camera and with getting their hands a little dirty in the garden. It's good to find a book that treats worms, mold, and rot in a matter-of-fact way, without exploiting the “ick” factor. Two appended pages answer common practical questions about composting. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan
Linda Glaser is the author of many successful nonfiction picture books, mainly on natural history subjects. Her books Spectacular Spiders, Compost!, and Wonderful Worms were all named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association. In addition to teaching and writing, she conducts writing workshops for schoolchildren and for adults.
Shelley Rotner is an award-winning children's book author and photo-illustrator as well as a freelance photographer specializing in portrait and travel photography. She is the author of Many Ways, Senses at the Seashore, Everybody Works, Feelings, and numerous other titles for the Shelley Rotner's Early Childhood Library series.