From Lions to Tapeworms, 251 cool facts about scat, frass, dung, and more!
By Dawn Cusick
80 pages, ages 8-12
Imagine (Charlesbridge imprint), 2012
At the very beginning of this book, author Dawn Cusick warns her young readers that they have a very important decision to make:
"How will you deal with the adults in your life when they see this book?"
It's a fair question, because some adults get disgusted by the cool-yet-gross things that interest kids. Poop being one of those things. Fortunately, Cusick is one who doesn't get disgusted by such things and dives right into the topic head first. Metaphorically.
The subtitle of this book says it all: 251 cool facts about scat, frass, dung.... and more! The first chapter is appropriately titled "Watch your language" - because there are precise and scientific words used to describe the body waste of animals, and there are silly words and other words that will get your mouth washed out with soap. My favorite word from Cusick's list is "Coporology".
Though it sounds gross to us, some animals eat poop. They roll in it. They use it to mark their nests and protect their families. Turns out that poop is an integral part of the food chain and can be its own little ecosystem.
Animals aren't the only ones to use poo. People use dung to heat their homes, cook dinner, and even make jewelry!
Cusick's also included a detective's guide to poop - to help budding naturalists determine who's "gone" there. Altogether a fun book. You can read a previous interview with Dawn Cusick here.
Check out other science resources at STEM Friday.
And on Monday, join Archimedes and other blogs for the Nonfiction Monday round-up, hosted this week by Sally's Bookshelf.