As soon as I could, I sat down with my granddaughter, Laura, and started to read. I was expecting a short picture book, but was surprised to discover a rather lengthy book, better suited for school-aged children.
Larraine Roulston is a resident of Peterborough, Ontario where she lives with her husband, Peter. She's been writing about environmental issues since 1987 and is an active member of the Composting Council of Canada. She's also served on the board of directors for the Recycling Council of Ontario. This writer knows her stuff about composting and she shares it in such a way that kids (and adults) are entertained while being educated. She even includes a catchy composting song (sung to the tune of the Hokey Pokey) that Laura and I now sing on a regular basis.
Pee Wee, Sammy Sowbug, Mini Millipede, Bradley Beetle, Susie Springtail and Verme the earthworm take us on adventures through composting. There is suspense. There is friendship. There is dirt. And bugs. And all things yucky. But yuckiness is easily transformed into something more than a science experiment ... it's transformed into a way of life for kids and their families who, after reading these books, can embrace the logic of composting, and ultimately, live greener lives.
I love this series.
While Laura seems to have a longer attention span than many three-year-olds, the books are a bit long for the toddler group. But maybe I'm not giving them enough credit. After all, when Grandpap and Laura were planting my herb garden, Laura wasn't frightened by the dozens of creepy crawlers ... she just said, "Look, there's Mini Millipede!" Aha! The lessons stuck!
Isn't that what we want from really good children's books? Lessons that stick? Well, that's exactly what you get with the Pee Wee's composting series.
Here are the six books in the series:
- Pee Wee and the Magical Compost Heap This is the first book in the series and it introduces kids to backyard composting through the adventures of Pee Wee, the endearing little red wiggler worm and all the other insects in the compost heap. There are even guides in the back of this 22-page book: Materials to Compost, Do Not Compost, and Composting Glossary and Further Information Guide.
- Pee Wee's Great Adventure With instructions on how to care for worms and harvest their castings (a cleaned-up word for worm poop), this book takes us on an adventure that ultimately teaches us all about vermicomposting (from a worm's eye view!).
- Pee Wee's Family in a Nutshell Here kids learn the difference between backyard composting and vermicomposting.
- Pee Wee Goes to the Fair It's time for the Spring Environmental Science Fair and Pee Wee and all his friends spend a day at the fair.
- Pee Wee's Magical Compost Tea The human kids in this story learn about the benefits of brewing and applying compost tea for a Waste Reduction Week activity, while Pee Wee and the other compost critters plan their own compost tea party inside of a rotting pumpkin.
- Pee Wee's Magical Compost Heap Colouring and Activity Book As if the storybooks aren't enough fun, Larraine added one last book to the series -- a 24-page colouring and activity book sure to delight green-minded kids, parents and teachers. What fun!
These truly are a valuable resource for parents and teachers when it comes to teaching kids about composting in a way that will stick. While it seems that so many books out there appeal to little girls, this is a series of books that little boys will just eat up! I mean, seriously ... they're about creepy crawler bugs, for goodness' sake!
The books are economical as well. You can order the entire set for just $35 plus postage. Teachers can even add Pee Wee's Fun with Worms Teacher's Guide to further enhance this educational opportunity. Visit the website for more information or contact Larraine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-778-1922.
Since I received the whole set, I thought I'd host a giveaway so you could have the chance to experience a taste of Pee Wee's adventures for yourself! Entering is super simple. Good luck!
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