CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 35. . . .May 15, 2015
Young Charlie is drawn to the park with many of his neighbours for a special event. The city has been composting recycled kitchen and garden waste and now has a grand supply of rich organic material to distribute to gardeners. When Charlie hears how several neighbours will grow tomatoes, onions and herbs for his favourite meal, spaghetti, he’s thrilled to learn that he can grow plants too -- in pots on his apartment balcony. By the end of summer, he’s able to contribute his own tomatoes to the spaghetti sauce recipe.
It’s never too soon to teach kids about recycling and composting, and how the cyclical process of decomposition works to give us food. This engaging story shares a youngster’s curiosity, his delight in discovery, his willingness to try something new and his enthusiasm to share and continue his success. Then, in the final pages, the author builds on readers’ interest with facts about how compost is made, how it can be used in community and rooftop gardens and ways to become involved in a personal composting and growing project. There are instructions for creating compost in a cup and growing cherry tomatoes in a small pot. Readers can get their hands dirty and find out what Charlie was so excited about.
The bright, animated coloured-pencil illustrations combine with questions in the first few pages to arouse curiosity: “What on earth? What is going on?” Who can resist following the “nannies and grannies and moms and dads….and babies too” as they parade to the park? Look closely and you’ll see they all carry a bucket or pot, push a wheelbarrow or pull a wagon. Charlie’s smile says it all as he “cradles the pot [of dirt]in his arms.” On the first page, Charlie’s balcony is bare, but, by the end, he’s lovingly tending a lush collection of potted plants.
Charlie’s Dirt Day is part of the “Tell-Me-More! Storybook” series, perfect for the youngest readers/listeners to enjoy accessible facts and activities. It would make a great gift for Earth Day!
Gillian Richardson is a freelance writer living in BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.