Two Icky (But Fascinating) Reference Books Kids Will Love – Perfect for Your Science Curriculum!

A book devoted to examining . . . poop? Another book about bacteria, bed bugs, and tapeworms? I know, I know. You probably think I’m off my proverbial rocker this week. But the truth is these two gems are fascinating reference materials kids will devour in two seconds flat. Sure, they’re bound to incite bathroom wisecracks galore and maybe a bit of high-pitched shrieking amidst fits of laughter. But I guarantee that even the most immature goofball will retain a fact or two from within these pages. I certainly did.

Get the Scoop on Animal Poop by Dawn Cusick. In its introduction, this well-tailored book asks kids one question: how will they deal with the adults who see them reading a book about, well, feces? While it might be tempting to make a joke out of the whole affair, the truth is there are a surprising amount of facts most kids—as well as adults—aren’t aware of when it comes to the topic of excrement. For your reading pleasure, here are just a few to whet your appetite:

  • Bat poop is referred to as “guano” and one of the best sources of organic fertilizer around.
  • Young pandas, rhinoceroses, and elephants sometimes eat their parents’ waste in order to obtain a certain type of bacteria that helps them digest plants more easily.
  • Turkey vultures defecate on themselves after they eat. Why? Their poop contains anti-bacterial chemicals that kill germs.
  • Dung beetles are the world’s strongest insect. They can pull 1,141 times their own weight!
  • The poop of krill-eating Adélie penguins from Antarctica is a vibrant pink color. These birds eat so much krill that their poop can be seen in satellite photos taken from space!

With plenty of . . . er . . . backmatter including an interview with a veterinarian (“Poo Interview”), a list of extended research activities (“Learn More”), a glossary, a bibliography and two indexes, Cusick’s (Cool Animal NamesAnimal Tongues) compendium of “coprology” (the study of poop) couldn’t be better. And yes, the pictures are hilarious too.

For a review of Jordan D. Brown’s Micro Mania and to read the rest of this post, please visit  Letter Blocks: The B&N Parents and Educators Blog.

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