Mary Appelhof

Worm Lady rules! This well-conceived videotape and study guide are proof that learning can be fun on a budget. Muffy wants a ride to the mall but dad can't drive her there until he finishes writing his “worm song.” As the subject of worms gets bandied about, a lot of questions arise. Enter (from seemingly nowhere) the Worm Lady. Wearing a green hardhat, a red raincoat and yellow rubber boots, she not only has the answers, but seems to be the very voice of reason in this all-too-perky family unit (which is rounded out by a “dude” older brother and a younger brother with thick glasses, but no mom).
The overall tone of this piece is not unlike a Syd and Marty Krofft production with a female “Wizard of Oz” instead of a Pufnstuf. Footage of every phase of a worm's existence is frequently shown while the Worm Lady answers questions. Since kids like squirmy things anyway and it is the fecal matter of worms which creates fertile soil, there are a lot of opportunities to get the kids really worked up about this whole subject as well as related curricular areas such as math, the arts, communication skills and creativity. Includes a top-notch teaching guide. Oh, and Dad manages to write not just one worm song but four of them. Here are some sample lyrics:
“So when that worm
gets done with that leaf,
like all animals,
it poops for relief.
Now talking about worm poop
might sound rude,
but worm poop is
important plant food.” JAT

Publisher: Flower
Video: 42 pages

Worms Eat My Garbage

Mary Appelhof

Mary Appelhof is the type of person who gives ecology a good name. She is the owner of Flower Press and Flowerfield Enterprises, and has dedicated most of her adult life to the development of products and techniques related to the conversion of organic materials into fertile soil using earthworms. She is also a skilled photographer and holds master's degrees in education and the biological sciences. This is her first book. It is a common sense guide to composting using worms, which does not assail the reader with bombast.
Among the topics covered are how to build a worm box, where to keep it, what kind of stuff worms can recycle and what other creatures live in worm boxes. There is a useful glossary of terms which is an amazing read in its own right, as well suggested reading. This book makes a potentially dry subject something of real interest. SA

Publisher: Flower
Paperback: 100 pages