Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow

A Compost Story

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

What is that garbage doing next to the garden? It’s not garbage. It’s compost! Amazing things happen inside a compost bin. In go banana peels, grass clippings, and even an old jack-o’-lantern. Out comes compost. The compost goes into the garden to make the soil rich for new plants. Compost is good for the earth. Composting also helps us make less garbage. In this book, you can watch as one family makes compost for their garden and also learn how to start your very own compost bin!

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Science
Category Makerspace, Makerspace: Gardening/Plants
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Publication Date 2010-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.2
BISACS JNF037020, JNF014000, JNF065000
Dewey 635'.048975
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Lexile 670
Guided Reading Level K
ATOS Reading Level 3.1
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 134889
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Awards and Reviewed


  • Green Earth Book Award Honor, Commended, 2011
  • SSLI Book Award Honor Book, Commended, 2010
  • Mockingbird Reading Program Reading List, Long-listed, 2010
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, Winner, 2010
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2010


The Horn Book Guide

“Practical but also full of wonder, the book illustrates the whole composting cycle.” —The Horn Book Guide


“Clear, vivid photos give this simple introduction to composting a realistic look that makes the process look downright doable.”


“Clear, vivid photos give this simple introduction to composting a realistic look that makes the process look downright doable. . . It’s good to find a book that treats worms, mold, and rot in a matter-of-fact way, without exploiting the ‘ick’ factor.”

Science Books & Films

“Composting is being incorporated more and more often into elementary school life on a classroom basis or as a program incorporated into school lunch programs. This book, which focuses on home composting, is a nice, mostly pictorial description of the process from the addition of ‘compostables’ to the pile through the harvesting of vegetables grown after the addition of compost to the garden.”
Science Books & Films

Author: Linda Glaser

Photographer: Shelley Rotner

Shelley Rotner is a noted freelance photojournalist, whose work has appeared in Time magazine, National Geographic's World Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine, Food and Wine, and numerous others. She is also the author and photo-illustrator of over 30 award-winning children's books. Her most recent books include Many Ways, Every Season, and Feeling Thankful. Shelley has also traveled extensively for UNICEF documenting programs about children, women, and education. Currently, Ms. Rotner is working on a collection of large, hand-painted photographs that capture beautiful and sacred places she has discovered in her travels. Shelley Rotner received her undergraduate degree in photography and psychology from Syracuse University and a dual Master's degree in elementary education and museum education from Bank Street College.