What You Never Knew about Tubs, Toilets, and Showers

What You Never Knew about Tubs, Toilets, and Showers

by Patricia Lauber, John Manders
     
 

In the Middle Ages, St. Francis of Assisi listed dirtiness as a sign of holiness...

But by the mid 1800s clean was in.

The early Greeks and Romans were among the first to build public baths and toilets. One of the biggest Roman baths held three thousand people at once — and everyone went naked! But when those empires fell,

Overview

In the Middle Ages, St. Francis of Assisi listed dirtiness as a sign of holiness...

But by the mid 1800s clean was in.

The early Greeks and Romans were among the first to build public baths and toilets. One of the biggest Roman baths held three thousand people at once — and everyone went naked! But when those empires fell, so did the standard for cleanliness. It would be 1,400 years before bathing came back into style.

Newbery Honor-wining author Patricia Lauber and artist John Manders team up again to tackle the dirty business of getting clean in their latest book, What You Never Knew About Tubs, Toilets, & Showers. In this hilarious how-to of bathing and bathrooms, readers can take a trip through the stalls of history and learn not only how bathrooms came to be, but who used them and why.

Editorial Reviews

Children will find this an interesting compilation of bathroom customs and mores. Greeks and Romans liked being clean but afterwards nearly 1,400 years passed before Western Europeans again thought being clean seemed like a good idea! In the Middle Ages, St. Francis of Assisi listed dirtiness as a sign of holiness, but by the mid-1800's clean was in. This book will give children a historical overview of cleanliness. Part of the "Around the House History" series. 2001, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.00. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: C. Henebry SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
Lauber takes a well-organized, chronological approach to the history of cleanliness. She begins with the people of the Stone Age, explaining the need for sanitation as people became farmers and created communities. She discusses ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians and Babylonians. The Romans, famous for their 264 miles of aqueducts, are also included. She gives the reasons for the decline of baths throughout Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. Civilizations in other parts of the world where bathing was important are included; among them are the Turks, the Chinese, the Japanese and the Aztecs. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, indoor plumbing returned. Concluding that, "Today, half the people in the world still lack toilets," Lauber gives the reader pause for thought. A light-hearted approach is taken in the watercolor illustrations. The picture book format, with its cartoon-style illustrations and humorous dialogue, will appeal to readers as they garner interesting information about this topic. In the bibliography of this "Around-the-house History" title, there are asterisks indicating which are the children's books. 2001, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.00. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A lighthearted but fact-filled look at plumbing throughout history. Starting with the Stone Age, Lauber traces key developments related to bathing, washing, and the disposal of human waste. The ways in which different civilizations met the practical challenges of providing efficient tubs and toilets are fascinating. A conversational tone makes the text accessible, with just enough facts and figures included to give the information substance. Specific details and general observations work together to create an entertaining overview of the topic. Cartoon illustrations, many with dialogue balloons, add more humor. Figures are lively caricatures, with a variety of sometimes bare bodies showing bathroom practices through the ages. The exaggerations in the illustrations present humorous looks at such conditions as dumping chamber pots onto the street and therapeutic ice-water showers. Though many of the pencil-and-watercolor cartoons will evoke giggles, they also successfully depict historical scenes in ways that readers will remember. Much of the history centers on Europe, and later America, but a two-page spread shows the emphasis that other civilizations placed on sanitation. The intriguing historical facts and the clever humor make this an excellent title for nonfiction booktalking. Readers wanting a more thorough, but no less fascinating presentation can move up to Penny Colman's Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers (Atheneum, 1994).- Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With Manders's cartoon illustrations adding detail and lighthearted commentary, Lauber revisits sanitary facilities down the ages, as well as common attitudes toward them. After a speculative glance into prehistory, she traces the development of public and private baths from the Indus River Valley to the early 20th century, focusing largely on Europe but pausing to mention early steam baths in the Americas, along with certain Muslim and Hindu practices. Children will come away with a clearer understanding of how standards of cleanliness can vary-from culture to culture, as well as era to era-plus just a few grossout facts suitable for sharing with siblings and parents, such as the sponge dipped in salt water that ancient Romans used in lieu of toilet paper. This follow-up to What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks, and Chopsticks (1999) invites repeated dips. (Nonfiction. 7-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689824203
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Series:
Around-the-House History Series
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
IG730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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