Reviews for Truth About Poop


Booklist Reviews 2004 May #2
Gr. 4-6. It's time to bring poop out of the (water) closet, and Goodman does just that in a book that is very readable, appropriately visual, and exceedingly encompassing. Among the topics: how much and how often (for both humans and animals); the process of elimination; the history of the toilet and toilet paper; the sewage system; and the ever-popular subject of waste in space. The suspiciously named chapters "Poop Games" and "Poop Presents" talk about chip throws and gifts made from moose dung. There's even a page on--sorry--poop as food. Despite its giggle-provoking subject matter, the book is never sensational, treating excrement as the very normal topic that it is. The well-executed cartoon artwork successfully goes for the clever, but sometimes plays it close to the edge, as when Father Rabbit says, motioning to the main course, "No poop, no dessert." Naturally, kids will find all this marvelously gross, but along with the yuks, they'll get plenty of information. Even the endpapers are filled with facts: the ancient Romans had a goddess for toilets and sewers. ((Reviewed May 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
This volume briefly describes the biological function of human elimination, recounts the history of toilets and toilet paper, and explains what happens to waste after it's flushed away. A breezy tone and comical illustrations keep things fairly tasteful, even when exploring such topics as the amount and frequency of animal elimination and the souvenirs one can buy at Alaska's Moose Dropping Festival. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 April #2
Declaring that "it's time take poop out of the closet," Goodman plops factual pellets from human and natural history alike into topical chapters covering dung's nature; production; varieties; uses in love, war, and, yes, sports; the development of flushing toilets (pointedly scrubbing the myth that Thomas Crapper was solely responsible); toilet paper; and urban waste reclamation. Smith takes on the subject with appropriate lack of gravity, adding lots of small, pop-eyed animals and people amid flushes of comic-strip dingbats. The author brings up the rear with recommended paper and web resources. A steaming pile of fun, redolent of wide-ranging research but most suited to recreational dipping, and a fine lead-in to Masoff's monumental Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty, illustrated by Terry Sirrell (2000). (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 June #1
Step aside, Walter the Farting Dog. Science writer Goodman (Claws, Coats, and Camouflage) deserves a round of applause, and no raspberries, for demystifying a risky topic. With a winning combination of scientific curiosity and amusement, the intrepid author dives into her research. In a section titled "How Much?/How Often?," she gladly reveals the private matters of sloths, geese and bears. She finds that a skipper caterpillar "shoot[s] its poop... six feet" to misdirect predators, and that sharks hunt by scent (castaways should "poop in the life raft"). She chronicles human error and ingenuity in sewage disposal ("British plumber Thomas Crapper... certainly had the best name for the job" in creating the flush toilet, but was not its sole inventor), and she explores toilet paper substitutes from corncobs to a "cheap book of poetry" to "the frayed end of old anchor cables" aboard ships. In addition, she explains paleontologists' professional interest in "chunks of fossilized poop" called coprolites, suggests multiple uses for cow patties (kindling, Frisbees, bedding), discusses astronauts' euphemistic "maximum absorption garments" (aka diapers) and reveals military-strategic applications for "Dangerous Poop." While Goodman delivers the straight stuff about international and U.S. bathroom practices, demonstrating that scrupulous research can be fun, Smith (Raise the Roof!) creates vaudevillean cartoons that suggest their steamy subject but don't get too close. This scatological documentary could make a splash. Ages 7-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 July
Gr 2-5-Chock-full of intriguing, gross, and bizarre facts about animal and human excrement, Goodman's free-range text discusses everything from Tyrannosaurus rex dung to the evolution of toilet paper. The three main sections outline animal elimination practices, the processes of human excretion and plumbing, and helpful uses for poop (e.g., for fertilizer or scientific research). While the quirky organization and lack of an index may not make this a useful resource for research, the subject matter will capture kids' attention and draw reluctant readers. Even though the cover illustration of an elephant on a chamber pot may make browsers think it is a potty-training book, the rest of Smith's retro cartoons in muted colors provide humor without being too gross. This is Taro Gomi's Everyone Poops (Kane/Miller, 1995) for the "Captain Underpants" (Scholastic) set.-Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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