Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up

Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up

by Sarah Albee, Robert Leighton
     
 

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Did lead pipescause the fall of the Roman Empire?

How many toilets were in theaverage Egyptian pyramid?

How did a knight wearing fiftypounds of armor go to the bathroom?

Was poor hygiene the last strawbefore the French Revolution?

Did Thomas Crapper really inventthe modern toilet?

How do astronauts goin

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Overview

Did lead pipescause the fall of the Roman Empire?

How many toilets were in theaverage Egyptian pyramid?

How did a knight wearing fiftypounds of armor go to the bathroom?

Was poor hygiene the last strawbefore the French Revolution?

Did Thomas Crapper really inventthe modern toilet?

How do astronauts goin space?

History finally comes out of the water-closet inthis exploration of how people's need to relieve themselves shaped humandevelopment from ancient times to the present. Throughout time, the mostsuccessful civilizations were the ones who realized that everyone poops, and theyhad better figure out how to get rid of it! From the world's first flushing toiletinvented by ancient Minoan plumbers to castle moats in the middle ages thatused more than just water to repel enemies, Sarah Albee traces humancivilization using one revolting yet fascinating theme.

A blend of historical photos and humorous illustrationsbring the answers to these questions and more to life, plus extra-gross sidebar information adds to the potty humor. This is bathroom reading kids, teachers,librarians, and parents won't be able to put down!

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Editorial Reviews

Abby McGanney Nolan
Full of scatological facts, jokey illustrations and groan-inducing puns…this entertaining chronicle also sneaks in plenty of information about disease, science and communal living since hunters and gatherers decided to stop roaming and settle down.
—The Washington Post
VOYA - Judith Brink-Drescher
Ever wondered what early civilization used for toilet paper? How did Victorian ladies wearing huge hoop skirts manage to "go" when they could not even sit down? Did a guy named Crapper really invent the toilet? Get the straight poop on these and many other moving questions while exploring an age-old problem: what to do when nature calls. In addition to the fun facts described as "Too Much Information" or "TMI," "Hygiene Heroes" identify people (Thomas Crapper was one of them) responsible for everything from the critical understanding of why "poop matters" to the engineering marvel of today's modern plumbing and waste disposal systems. Albee does a very clever job of tying social and historical events into what might otherwise be considered a somewhat off-color topic. Indeed the author convincingly makes the case that over the ages, fecal matter was a constant driver of both human suffering and innovation. The interesting captions and eye-catching illustrations enthusiastically lead the reader on a journey through time and examine not only some of the aforementioned logistical and often humorous issues, but also the very serious outbreaks of disease that, even today, occur as a result of ignorance, improper hygiene, social class distinction, and non-disposal of human and animal excrement. There is a curiosity factor that cannot be denied when looking at the cover of this book. As a result, children, teens, and adults will undoubtedly learn more about the potty than they ever imagined possible. Reviewer: Judith Brink-Drescher
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—This self-proclaimed "number one book on number two" takes readers inside the fascinating world of excrement, ranging across the historical spectrum from "Hellenic Hygiene" to "How Do Astronauts Use the Toilet in Space?" Albee's focus is not only on bodily functions, but also on the larger public-health challenges created by mass urbanization in the ancient and modern world as well as the ability of societies to deal with these problems, which provides readers with an excellent introduction to social history. With a focus on the Western world in general and England in particular, the author touches on an array of topics from diseases such as cholera and plague to the development of increased sanitation in large urban areas such as London. The exciting format is comprised of a two-color (pastel green and blue) layout with numerous illustrations and photos. Interesting sidebars describe occupations and "hygiene heroes" such as Edwin Chadwick and bathroom fashion. The fluid writing style that ensnares and holds readers' attention from beginning to end. By bringing history alive, this captivating work is without a doubt an essential purchase.—Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
Readers who enjoy all things gross will find this foray into fecal history most appealing. Albee conversationally explores how the need for efficient sanitation grew with expanding and more concentrated populations. Beginning with the Roman Empire and its amazing feats of plumbing, the book chronicles the evolution of waste disposal in Western civilization. The author offers many stomach-churning details in the text as well as in sidebars about using urine to launder clothes and tan hides, horrible "filth" diseases, revolting hygiene practices and disgusting waste-related occupations. Her penchant for punny chapter titles such as "The Origin of Feces" and "The Age of Shovelry" will elicit groans from adults but will resonate with kids (when they do not go over their heads). The purple-and-green pages feature Leighton's cartoon illustrations, which complement the playful tone of the text. The subject has been explored elsewhere, but this book's approach is more cultural and historical than scientific. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802798251
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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