Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof was a Little Free Library find and a quick read. I was first introduced to the idea of composing with worms from a professor in grad school. It’s an intriguing idea, and since this version of the book was published in 1982, it’s easier than ever thanks to YouTube and relatively affordable worm containers and systems. Back in 1982, they were building their own boxes, for example.
My take away is that it’s a great idea and is especially suitable for people who do a lot of cooking and eat a lot of vegetables and are not squeamish about worms. I, on the other hand, am a little afraid of worms, and, while it hate to admit it, I do think a lot of the garbage my household produces is…junk food. And, evidently junk food is salt and spicy and might mess up the ph of the soil. Reading this book does make me want to figure out a good composting system for my home. That’s my takeaway.
I found a copy of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl in a Little Free Library and read it to the boys this summer. While there’s no doubt that Dahl is an excellent writer with great control on the sentence level and wonderful descriptions, I was struck by the antiquated fatphobic language and some other negativity in the book that you don’t see in new children’s publications and that, honestly, I do not miss. The plot is fine, but I found myself hoping for some deeper meaning and purpose in the adventure, some deeper symbolism in it all. I found very little. Instead, Dahl takes readers on a simple, uncomplicated adventure, but one with plenty of antics, wordplay, and vivid description. It’s worth the read for those alone. I also see that there’s a 2010 movie, so maybe we’ll check that out this summer too.
Reader, as you know by now, James and the Giant Peach is “not my genre,” but it is a classic, and I’m glad we read it. I might try it again in a few years when the boys are older and have a better understanding, but likely there will be many other favorites old and new to read. The littlest one lost interest several times this time around. However, it is the longest book we’ve read so far, and, overall, the boys tolerated it well. I am hopeful for our journey into longer (still illustrated) chapter books. Reading books to the boys is one of my greatest daily joys in parenting. It’s something we all truly enjoy and can share, and I look forward to reading many more classics together!