A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu, and You: A Laugh-Out-Loud Guide to Life on Earth by Mike Barfield, illustrated by Jess Bradley. Aladdin, 2021. 9781534467217
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Colorful cartoon-like art and a conversational writing style (with humor and a fair amount of gross-out) make this an epically browsable title. The information is organized into three broad topics – the human body, the animal kingdom, and earth and science. The section covering the human body focuses on anatomy and physiology, with a fair number of pages devoted to urine, poo, and farts. The animal kingdom chapter describes animals and insects with a weirdness cachet, such as dung beetles, deadly jellies and colossal squid. In the earth and science chapter, readers can learn about lots of random science, from bananas and Venus Flytraps, to weather and space. There’s a lot of information covered with just enough depth for browsing. Information is presented in graphic panels of different sizes as part of a general “snapshot” of a topic; there are 2-page spreads of more in depth information that include diagrams; and there are “secret diaries,” which are often in narrative form, from the perspective of a 10-year old’s nose, for instance.
I wouldn’t call this an exhaustive source on any one topic, but it’s a fun book to pick up and leaf through for kids who like books of facts. A detailed table of contents makes finding a preferred topic easy, and there’s a glossary for tricky words.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Unsurprisingly, there is no index.
To whom would you recommend this book? For early elementary school kids who enjoy non fiction in graphic novel format. I’d say the book would work for ages 8-12.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries, where there’s room for general science browsing titles.
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic non fiction, 500
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: May 18, 2021