Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow

A Compost Story

By Linda Glaser

Photos by Shelley Rotner

Millbrook Press (Lerner), 2010

ISBN # 978-0-7613-4911-2


Ages 5-8

“At our house, we grow lettuce and tomatoes, pumpkins and potatoes, strawberries, sunflowers, cucumbers, and cauliflowers. And we use garbage to do it. This is where it starts—in our compost bin. It’s just a big box. But amazing things happen here.

Making a compost bin is a great way to recycle organic matter into soil and this simple book explains the entire process—from garbage and clippings to brand new soil—in a way young children can understand. Large photos fill the page to show in detail what is taking place in the text. The book relates ordinary household activities, such as Halloween pumpkins, to explain what can and can’t go into a compost pile. The food chain decomposers are mentioned as helping break down the materials in a simple explanation and the book shows the value in composting for its rich soil-making contribution as well as cutting down on the landfill trash.

Back matter defines organic matter and answers questions about composting. It includes a simple composting experiment. This is an excellent Earth Day book to read and can be used to help explain decomposition in early food chain lessons. This book makes me want a compost pile of my own!

Activity 1

Perform the experiment in the back of the book by making a mini-compost pile in a cup.

Use this sheet to help write up the results of your experiment.

Activity 2

Create a list of organic materials that are suitable for putting into the compost pile.

This page can help.

Activity 3

Follow the life cycle of a pumpkin as shown in the book.

Read here for more information about composting.

Here’s more good information about composting.

Go to Wild About Nature blog to see another post about this book.

National Science Standards: organisms and environments

Book donated by publisher

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