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)