Synopses & Reviews
Find out what happens to all of the poo at the zoo in this funny and factual picture book!
There are so many different kinds of animals at the zoo, and they each make lots and lots (and sometimes LOTS!) of poo. So what do zoos do with all of that poo? This zany, fact-filled romp explores zoo poo, from cube-shaped wombat poo to white hyena scat, and all of the places it ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper — even backyard gardens!
"Countless zoo books line the shelves, but how often does one discuss animal manure—and how a zoo discards it? Employing the page turn to great effect from the very start, Kurtz is bound to get youngsters' attention: "At zoo after zoo / the animals chew. / And then … // they poo!" Quick rhymes in boldface type across the top make simple statements about each animal's toilet habits. "Sloths creep down from trees to poop, / but only once a week. / A penguin shoots its poo out / in a fishy-smelling streak." Smaller text below offers more in-depth facts: "Why do sloths spend so much energy leaving the protection of trees to poop on the ground? It's a mystery scientists are trying to solve." Black's wide-eyed, expressive animals have personality, but they never cross over to cartoony garishness. After exploring 12 different zoo dwellers, Kurtz then turns her focus to the large amount of poo that accumulates at a zoo every day. What do they do with it? Much is trucked to landfills, but zoos also study it in labs to help understand their animals better. Plus, there are compost options and even elephant-poo paper!....A scatological success. (Informational picture book. 3-8)" Kirkus
"There’s quite a lot here to digest. In a mix of rhymed general statements and, in smaller type, pithy prose explanations, Kurtz drops nuggets of information about what poop is, how the excrement of a dozen types of zoo animals differs in shape and composition, what said animals do with their poop in nature, and the many ways zoos (and gardeners) study and recycle all those tons of “zoo-doo.” She closes with the provocative observation that more intelligent and socialized primates tend to fling their poop with more accuracy than their duller cohorts — as, perhaps, “a form of communication and self-expression.” Reflecting what young readers will be doing by this point, Black illustrates the author’s final sally with a troop of heartily laughing monkeys. In fact, all the creatures in these brightly colored cartoon illustrations, even the earthworms, are smiling. So are most of the notably diverse cast of human workers (a few pooper-scoopers look understandably beleaguered), as befits both the topic and the tone of this fresh scoop on poop." John Peters, Booklist
About the Author
Jane Kurtz was born in Portland, Oregon, but when she was two years old, her parents decided to move to Ethiopia, where she spent most of her childhood. Jane speaks about being an author at schools and conferences — in all but eleven of the United States, so far, and such places as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Germany, Romania, England, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Japan. She helped start Ethiopia Reads (EthiopiaReads.org), a nonprofit that is planting the first libraries for children in Ethiopia. She is the author of many books for children.
Allison Black is an illustrator and designer specializing in cute and colorful creations. Originally from upstate New York, Allison received her BFA at Syracuse University, and has since lived in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and now Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, she has developed products ranging from baby bedding and toddler clothes to Christmas ornaments and Easter baskets. But no matter what she’s creating, she always brings a little Allison flair to the product through her illustration style, thoughtful design, and fanciful critters.