Poo: A Natural History of the Unmentionable

Publisher: Walker Books

Review

This funny non-fiction picture book for older readers is packed full of fascinating facts about poo and enthusiastically explains why this natural waste product is one of the most useful things on earth.

Readers will discover how poo can be used to identify an animal and provide a wealth of information about the creature’s diet or habitat. From the tiny pinhead-sized poo of a bumblebee bat to the massive poos produced by blue whales, which can be several metres long, faecal matter comes in all shapes and sizes, and has a multitude of functions.

Some animals use poo to pass on messages to others, such as a warning to stay off their territory, or to indicate when they are ready to mate. Millipedes use their pellet-like waste as bricks to build nests for their eggs, and hippos follow the whiff of their stinky excrement trails to lead them back home in the dark. Even fossilised dinosaur poo contains evidence about the diet and lifestyle of prehistoric creatures, enabling scientists to understand how they lived.

A comprehensive index and useful glossary complete this brilliant reference guide to all things poo-related, which is superbly illustrated with Neal Layton’s comical, sketchy drawings.

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