Elevating the Poop Talk

August 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

As previously noted, we recently spent a week on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, where the beach isn’t exactly the soft white expanse of the Caribbean. But there’s an as-of-yet-unmentioned benefit to such dark, coarse, and oily sand if you’re an almost five-year-old boy: when wet, it bears a striking resemblance to poop. Cue hours of enjoyment for my son, and lots of averted trying-to-seem-oblivious glances from me. It never mattered how things began (“Mommy, I’m building a series of canals!”), they always ended at poop (“Mommy, now these canals are full of POOP!”) During the 10 hour drive home at the end of the week, I had a revelation: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Or rather, how could I direct this obsession into something educational? I decided to get my hands on The Truth About Poop, by Susan E. Goodman (Ages 5-10), a mature picture-chapter book packed with biological, zoological, historical, and geographical facts about, yes, poop. There have actually been quite a few expertly executed books on this topic over the past 10 years, and they were always big hits at my shop (“You’re telling me your seven-year-old son isn’t interested in reading? Have you tried giving him a book about poop?”). I figured it was high time to bring one home for JP. And since then–well, let’s just say that my husband and I have actually been fighting over who gets to put JP to bed, because neither of us wants to miss a page of this positively riveting book. Wide eyed and at rapt attention, JP listens as we read chapters like “History of the Toilet,” “The World Before Toilet Paper” (gasp!), “Where Does It Go,” “Waste in Space,” “Useful Poop,” and “Poop as Food” (I dare you to read this last one without uttering “Gross!” at least three times). With a book that’s so jam packed with information, I find it both interesting and amusing to note what sticks in my little guy’s head: the sloth that only poops once a week has left a lasting impression on him, as has the Pilgrims’ use of corn cobs to wipe their bottoms (good timing, with it being corn season and all). Personally, I find the annual Moose Dropping Festival in Alaska a tad disturbing. And then there’s my husband, who is utterly perplexed by the following claim: “on average, people produce about an ounce of poop for each 12 pounds of body weight”; by that calculation, our son should weigh the same as a NFL linebacker! When it comes right down to it, I guess our guy just has poop on the brain. But thanks to this book, he now has the making of a scientist!

Another favorite of JP: naked mole rats from the same family all wear the same poop-perfume!

Other Favorite Fact-Filled Books About Poop:
Get the Scoop on Animal Poop, by Dawn Cusick (Ages 5-10)
Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable, by Nicola Davies & Neal Layton (Ages 5-10)
Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up, by Sarah Albee & Robert Leighton (Ages 8-12)

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§ One Response to Elevating the Poop Talk

  • Liz Crane says:

    Hi Meliss – thoroughly enjoyed your blog on poop. Too bad my girls, ages 18 and 20 are too old to enjoy it – or are they?
    ~Liz

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