A stinky history of toilets

Olivia Meikle

Book - 2024

Find out how humans have done their business across the world and throughout history.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf j696.182/Meikle (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 29, 2024
New York : Neon Squid 2024.
Main Author
Olivia Meikle (author)
Other Authors
Katie (College teacher) Nelson (author), Ella Kasperowicz (illustrator)
Item Description
"Flush with fun facts and disgusting discoveries" -- page [1] of cover.
Includes index.
Physical Description
48 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
  • What do we do with all this poop?
  • Pick your spot!
  • Swimming in sewage
  • Privies
  • Viking middens & a historic poop
  • Use it against your enemies
  • Poop parties
  • Cleaning up the mess
  • The story of cholera
  • Don't let it go to waste
  • A royal flush
  • Trap the smell
  • A brief history of toilet paper
  • Let's build sewers!
  • Problems with pipes
  • Building the best toilet
  • Let's burn it
  • Squat … sit … or stand?
  • So good you can drink it
  • Toilets today
  • The future of poop
  • Glossary & Index
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Booklist Review

Be privy to the history of human waste disposal with this informational book that combines educational and entertaining facts. Brown is relegated to waste matter; otherwise, thematic double-page scenes with bright colors and cartoonish humans give the text a cheekiness. Following a by-the-numbers overview of poop (e.g., globally, humans produce the equivalent of 70 Empire State Buildings in poop each week), the book focuses on how humans have designated special places to defecate and how they disposed of this waste, from Viking middens (large piles of buried waste that eventually "mummified" poop) to sewer systems in Mohenjo-Daro, an ancient city in modern Pakistan. Sure to elicit both groans and giggles in equal measure, however, are early methods for trapping fecal odors, cleaning up before the invention of toilet paper, and attempted versions of burning poop. Finally, several spreads depict the creation of modern toilets, toilet use around the world today, and the future of toilets, such as smart toilets capable of butt recognition and poop tracking. This STEM selection is flush with high-interest appeal.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Coverage of an essential hygienic appliance and what preceded it. Starting with numbers (How much poop do humans produce?) and basic biological facts (What is poop, anyway?), the authors move briskly through highlights of the cultural and scientific story of our dealings with our excreta, from the Stone Age to the present, around the world. Unavoidably, there are gross moments, such as the Vikings' very nasty parasites, and shocking ones, including the Mongols' plague-spreading germ warfare, but these bits add to the thrill inherent in this material. Happily, the British Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole gets a small tribute for her work treating cholera; both she and John Snow, the first public-health detective, deserve to be better known, as does the Elizabethan inventor of the flush toilet. And the Chinese get credit for inventing both toilet paper and sewer pipes. We learn about the positive side of poop, which has uses in agriculture and as fuel. Modern sanitation methods are also described, and though future developments elude prediction, ingenious solutions for astronauts and Antarctic scientists might hold hints. Flat-color art with varied compositions is clear, instructive, amusing, and simplified but roughly accurate in depicting clothing and period settings. People throughout are racially diverse. A fascinating history of the porcelain god and other sanitary (and unsanitary) practices. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 6-10) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.