Monday, October 26, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: Way to grow! Gardening: Composting and Planting by Rebecca Pettiford

 These two titles are from a new imprint, Pogo, produced by Jump! It's for an older audience than their Bullfrog imprint, and contains leveled text for beginning readers.

Composting explains how compost works, how gardens need organic matter in their soil, and how to make your own compost. There are helpful facts in "Did you know?" sections and clear directions for creating your compost pile from what to put in it to how to layer it. There is a science experiment to compare soil at the end and see if compost really makes a difference. There is also an index, glossary, and link to the publisher's website to learn more.

The book has a nice, clean layout and is illustrated with photographs that show a fairly diverse group of kids (two black, two white, one photograph of hands that all appear to be white)

Planting is also in this series and starts out with some general tips on planting. Find a sunny spot, sow seeds depending on where you live. It talks a little about germination, then caring for plants with watering, mulching, and fertilizing. The activity is comparing soil. There is a glossary, index, and link to the publisher's website.

I was disappointed by this title. The information seemed very random. It talked about specific fertilizer (mineral fertilizers) but not about weeding or garden pests. I didn't like the assumptions that everyone would have a yard or access to a community garden - it would have been nice if it had suggested container gardens that almost everyone can make. The comparing soil activity was very similar to the activity in Composting. The photographs show three white kids, a grandparent and child who appear to be Asian, a dark-skinned girl, and a girl with darker skin and a bindi? although it looked oddly fake, as though it was applied to the photograph afterwards.

I think this too broad a topic for the length of the book and the leveled text. There are a lot of better nonfiction planting books out there.

Verdict: If you are buying individual titles, I recommend Composting as it's a decent overview and there aren't a lot of books on this subject. If you're looking for whole series on growing, I'd pass on this one as all the titles don't seem to be of the same quality.

Published July 2015 by Jump; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library

ISBN: 9781620312292

ISBN: 9781620312285

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