Get the Scoop on Animal Poop: From Lions to Tapeworms: 251 Cool Facts about Scat, Frass, Dung and More!


With fun facts and amazing photos, describes how animals use their poop to trick predators and prey, send messages, feed themselves and their offspring, build homes, mark their territories, and more.

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With fun facts and amazing photos, describes how animals use their poop to trick predators and prey, send messages, feed themselves and their offspring, build homes, mark their territories, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this extensive and wide-ranging guide to animal feces, Cusick discusses types of animal droppings, terminology, the logistics of defecation for aquatic species, the ways in which poop contributes to ecosystems and food chains, how animals communicate using feces, and more. The overall design is a bit cluttered and dated-looking: photographs depict numerous animals—including opossums, sloths, penguins, and the viceroy and white admiral caterpillars (which camouflage themselves as bird droppings)—and their waste products, while sidebars explain unusual uses for poop, such as a “Geisha facial” made from nightingale feces. An interview with a veterinarian and ideas for poop-related learning activities (a scavenger hunt for worm castings, anyone?) urge readers to explore the science behind the giggle-inducing topic. Ages 7–11. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Susan Borges
This surprising book offers young readers a very informative and scientific look at animal poop! The introduction page advises readers to be sensitive to skeptical adults who do not understand the importance of the subject matter in this book. But for readers who want to get the scoop on poop, this book's factual content is fascinating, engaging, and important for understanding an essential feature of animal biology. The author treats the subject matter with truth and a sense of humor, making the text very readable, easily understood, and scientifically significant. From the smallest animal to the largest, animal poop plays an important role in the environment, ecology, and food chain around the world. The book's factual information is outlined clearly in the table of contents and each specific category of information such as "underwater poop" is covered on two pages which include a title, subtitles, illustrations, full-colored detailed photographs, and two or three paragraphs of well-written text. This excellent nonfiction text for elementary school-aged readers makes an important but often over-looked aspect of science education fun and interesting for readers of all ages. Each page contains fascinating, surprising, gross, and funny facts about a subject that deserves serious scientific consideration and is best understood when it is presented and studied with a sense of humor and accurate information. Reviewer: Susan Borges
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—With its glossy full-color illustrations and bubbly conspiratorial tone (that always seems to be saying, "Isn't poo icky? Don't tell the grownups!"), this loosely organized collection of scatological facts will appeal to the gross-out instincts of young readers. The pleasing graphic design and the scattering of items on each page give the book a hyperlinked feel; unfortunately, that also means lost opportunities for connections and context, and more complicated concepts going unexplained. Some attempts are made to provide cross-references to other items in the book; however that space might have been better used to clarify the text instead. Topics covered include digestive systems of various animals, parasites, animals that eat feces, and bathroom habits. Back matter includes a guide to identify types of animal feces, a "poo interview" with a veterinarian, activity ideas, a glossary and reading list (adults may be taken aback to find Matt Pagett's What Shat That? among the titles recommended), a subject index, and an index by organism.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
From bluebird and alpaca droppings to buffalo dung and termite frass, an upbeat guide to coprology, the study of feces. Who knew that possums release a sticky green anal liquid when threatened, that some animals use defensive defecation to frighten predators, that moose poo makes good jewelry or that some animals practice coprophagia, or feces eating? If it's possible for a nonfiction work to have too much information, this volume may be the case. But Cusick affects a compensatory subversive tone: This isn't a work for squeamish adults; it's for kids who supposedly delight in all things scatological, and they're encouraged to "[j]ust hide the book in your backpack or your sock drawer and make sure [adults] don't catch you grinning after you've been looking at it." Who wouldn't be grinning after reading about dung spiders that look like "a pile of poop," plankton poo or the variations in color of Adélie penguin droppings? Rooted in a tremendous amount of research, as indicated by the two-page list of acknowledgments, this is a bright and inviting treatment of an unusual subject. Every page is packed with colorful photographs, and the text is an accumulation of snippets, a few sentences about each of the hundreds of topics. A browser's delight. So much information presented that readers may well be pooped when they finish. (further activities, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623540142
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 584,567
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: NC1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dawn Cusick enjoys making science education fun for both kids and adults. In addition to writing children's animal behavior books, she is a college biology instructor. She is the author of Animal Tongues and Bug Butts, also published by EarlyLight Books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    I cringed when my daughter announced to everyone in the bookstor

    I cringed when my daughter announced to everyone in the bookstore's cafe that she wanted this book about poop, but the people around us were listening to every word when she started reading it aloud. The science was amazing.

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