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

Sarah Albee, Author, Robert Leighton, Illustrator
Sarah Albee, illus. by Robert Leighton, Walker, $15.99 paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2077-1
Reviewed on: 05/03/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
With candid humor, this book spotlights an important aspect of history, discussing human waste, from prehistoric times to the present. Featuring photographs, reproduced images, and cartoons, Albee’s exposé explores the spread of diseases, the history of plumbing, and cultural attitudes toward excrement and hygiene, along with delightfully uncouth anecdotes (French courtiers used the “feathers attached to the neck of a dead goose” to wipe their behinds). Descriptions of stinky 18th-century London and the plight of the great unwashed throughout time should leave readers grateful for their porcelain thrones and glad to have taken the down and dirty—but informative—journey. Ages 8–12. (May)