Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf

Caramel loves reading books about facts. A short while ago he got his paws on a series of four books about the human body, and he has already reviewed The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald and The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham for the book bunnies blog. Today he reviews the third book he read from this series: The Science of Poop and Fart: The Smelly Truth About Digestion, written by Alex Woolf. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book with the funny title. Is it really about pooping and farting?

Caramel: It is!

S: As soon as I saw the title, I knew you would be curious about it. You love jokes about poop and fart. So it worked, right? It made you want to read the book?

C: Yes. It did. And I learned a lot of new things about digestion. Did you know that some ancient Romans rinsed their mouths with pee? To get whiter teeth?

S: Ugh, that sounds pretty disgusting. Does it work?

C: I don’t know. But it is pretty disgusting. I also learned that hippos spin their tail to launch their poop under water.

Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

S: Hmm, so the book is full of weird facts about pee, poop, and, obvious from the title, farts. Does it also tell you about the digestive system more generally?

C: Not quite. It is full of stuff about poop though. Here are some chapter titles: “How do we produce poop?”, “What is pee?”, “What are farts?”, “What are burps?”, “What is saliva?”, “What are diarrhea and vomiting?”, “What is constipation?”, “Digestive problems”, “A healthy diet”, “Can poop be useful?”, “What happens to poop?”

S: Okay, these all sound quite fascinating. I think you learned a lot about the general stuff on the digestive system from Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Digestive System by Hyun-Dong Han already, and this book gives you a lot more weird but true facts about digestion in bite-size., digestible chunks.

C: Yes! Did you know that the tropical pitcher plant has tube-shaped leaves that are used as toilets by some animals? The poop provides the plant with lots of nutrition.

S: I seem to remember seeing that in a documentary. I guess the poop is full of food waste, so there are nutrients in it that the plant can use. What an interesting way to recycle!

C: Oh, and if you eat beans, your fart smells.

S: Yes, I knew that. Also red cabbage.

C: I also learned that some dogs, if they cannot burp, they can die. So to treat the condition, they insert a flexible rubber tube down their throat.

S: Oh that sounds kind of painful, but it is better than dying.

C: Yes.

S: Okay, I can see you want to read the book again and go over these very interesting facts all over again. So let us try and wrap up.

C: Yes, but did you know that if a llama feels threatened, it will spit, and it can spit about three meters away?

S: I knew llamas could spit, but that is a long way to spit! Do you remember the llama we met way back in Big Bear Lake?

C: Yes, he did not spit on us though, thankfully. And he really seemed to know when we were taking his picture.

S: Yes, I remember. He was almost posing for us. Okay, then. Give me your three words for this book.

C: Interesting, colorful, and informative.

S: Those work! I agree. I too learned a lot reading it. So what do you want to say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.

Caramel reviews The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham

A few weeks ago, Caramel got his paws on a set of four books about the human body, each focusing on one major system. Last week he reviewed the first one he read in the series: The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing written by Fiona MacDonald. Today he reviews the next one: The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood, written by Ian Graham. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham.
Caramel reviews The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham.

Sprinkles: Please tell us about this book Caramel. What is it about?

Caramel: It is about scabs and pus, as you can tell from the title. And those are pretty interesting I think. It also talks about the heart and the blood system. They are not the same thing as scabs and pus but definitely useful.

S: Why do you think they are in the same book? The subtitle of the book is “The Sticky Truth About Blood”. And so it makes sense that it would be about blood and the heart and the circulatory system in general. How do scabs and pus come in?

C: Scabs happen when you have a cut or a wound and the scab is made by your blood cells to stop the bleeding. And underneath the scab, the skin tries to heal itself.

S: So scabs are made by your blood! That is cool, isn’t it?

C: I guess so. It is interesting. But pus on the other hand is pretty disgusting.

S: Okay, tell me about that. What is pus?

C: Pus is made up of dead blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria.

S: Are all of them dead?

C: Yep. Or almost dead.

S: So what is the point of it?

C: To get rid of the bacteria so you don’t get infected. You have pus come out of the wound.

S: So the body is trying to clean itself?

C: Yes. But it also means that your wound is not clean. It is a sign of infection.

S: That sounds bad.

C: Yes. Very bad.

Caramel is reading about the heart in The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham.
Caramel is reading about the heart in The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham.

S: A while ago you reviewed another book about the circulatory system. Do you remember?

C: Yes! It was from the Survive! series: Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Circulatory System.

S: So you already know quite a lot about the circulatory system. Did you learn new things from this book?

C: Yes! There is a lot of new information here. I learned some new things about the heart which I did not know before. There is also a whole two-page section on hemophilia and another two pages on leukemia. I did not know about those.

S: Hmm, so what are they?

C: They are both types of blood diseases. Hemophilia is when the person cannot make scabs. Their blood does not clot. And did you know that boys and men are more likely to get hemophilia than girls and women?

S: Yes, I knew that I think. It has something to do with the X chromosome. Most girls and women have two X chromosomes so they are less likely to inherit an X chromosome that gives them the disease. But most boys and men have only one X chromosome, so if that one has the mutation causing the disease, then the person gets it.

C: That is a bit confusing.

S: Yes, I agree. And then there is leukemia. What can you tell me about that?

C: Leukemia is when the bone marrow makes white blood cells that don’t work properly. The word “leukemia” comes from the words for white and blood. I did not know that before.

S: I didn’t know that either. And you know about white blood cells, too?

C: Yes. I learned about them from watching Cells at Work!

S: Yes, that show was quite interesting and taught us a lot, didn’t it?

C: Yes, though it was a bit too violent. The white blood cells and all the other immune cells sliced and diced enemies and it was a little too much.

S: I agree. But we still learned a lot. Okay, let us wrap up this review with your three words for the book.

C: Informative, colorful, and interesting.

S: Those are all good words Caramel! So you would recommend this to other little bunnies interested in learning about scabs and pus?

C: Yes, definitely.

S: And what else would you recommend our readers do?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham, and is looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham, and is looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Caramel reviews The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald

Recently Caramel got his paws on a set of four books about the human body, each focusing on one major system. Today he reviews the first one he read in the series: The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing written by Fiona MacDonald. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald.
Caramel reviews The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald.

Sprinkles: Tell me about this book Caramel.

Caramel: This book is about snot and phlegm. As you could tell from the title.

S: Hmm, sounds fascinating. Do you know the difference between them? It seems everywhere in the book they are used together, like “snot and phlegm”.

C: Snot and phlegm are both mucus, and the difference is that phlegm is in the chest and throat and snot is in the nose.

S: Do they ever define them?

C: They only define them in the glossary I think. So phlegm is “thick mucus from the chest often containing dead white blood cells, bacteria and sailva.” And snot is “mucus from the nose.”

S: What else is in the glossary?

C: Adenoids, allergens, allergies, alveoli, arteries, asthma, bacteria, and …

S: Okay, that is enough I think.

C: No wait! I wasn’t finished!

S: But we got the point, don’t you think?

C: Too bad.

S: But we should talk more about the book itself. We can go over the glossary again together later.

C: Okay.

S: So tell me more about this book.

C: Okay. Here are the chapter names. Introduction. The Breath of Life. Protect and Survive. Why Do Noses Run? Sinuses, Tonsils, and Adenoids. The Cold Virus. What is Hay Fever? Too Much! Why Do We Cough? What Are Bronchitis and Pneumonia? Breathless. No Airway! Breathe Easy. And then there is the glossary and the index.

S: Those sound interesting! So why do we cough?

C: Let’s consult the book. Page 20. Coughing is our diaphragm pushing out air from our lungs fast. It is supposed to clear the airways.

S: What does that mean?

C: The windpipe. The breathing tube connecting your lungs to your nose and mouth.

Caramel is reading about runny noses in The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald.
Caramel is reading about runny noses in The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald.

C: So this book is not only about snot and phlegm.

S: What else is there?

C: Heartburns. A heartburn is when your stomach acid goes up your throat and hurts it.

S: How is that related to your respiratory system?

C: I have no idea. Hmm, okay, apparently “a cough can also be caused by digestive difficulties.” And that is where the book talks about heartburn.

S: I see. So basically the book has some information about the respiratory system, and then some other interesting things that are closely related.

C: Yes.

S: You have read and reviewed another series of books about the human body, do you remember?

C: Yes! The Survive series. We talked about  Survive: The Digestive System and Survive: The Circulatory System and then Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Nervous System, all by Hyun-Dong Han. The second book talked about the heart, and arteries, and blood and a bit about breathing.

S: But it was not really about respiration, right?

C: Yes. That is true. That book was mainly about the circulatory system.

S: So did you learn anything new from this book?

C: Yeah. A lot. I learned about allergens for example. And the cold virus. There are many viruses that make people sick. Over three hundred that make you catch a cold.

S: Yes, that is exceptionally relevant today when we are dealing with a pandemic caused by what we think is a respiratory virus.

C: Yes. COVID-19.

S: Okay Caramel. Let us wrap up this review. What three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Helpful, interesting, colorful.

S: Okay, I think these are good descriptors. And what will you tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the remaining books in the same series.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the remaining books in the same series.

Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille by Russell Freedman

Today Caramel wanted to talk about Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler.
Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler.

Sprinkles: Caramel, tell me a bit about this book.

Caramel: This book is about the life of Louis Braille. Braille is the person who invented the Braille alphabet. The Braille alphabet is used by people who cannot see to read and write.

S: Did you know about him before reading the book?

C: No. I had heard of the Braille alphabet, and I thought it was probably invented by someone named Braille, but I did not know anything else about Braille.

S: So you learned about his life from this book. Tell us about him a bit.

C: Louis Braille was not born blind. He could see at some point but when he was four, one of his eyes got poked out and his other eye got infected and he lost both.

S: Yes, I read that part too. It is a sad accident that leads to the loss of one eye and the infection on the other eye. It is really sad.

C: Yes very sad. And also because the infection could probably be cured today.

S: Yes. It is possible. But he was living in the first half of the nineteenth century, and they did not have antibiotics or anything else to fight infections with.

C: Yes. They did use leeches for some medical purposes, which is weird.

S: Yes, I think so too. But apparently they still use leeches for some medical purposes!

C: I did not know that! That is so strange. I learn something new every day!

Caramel is reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler He is on the page where the Braille alphabet is being described. .
Caramel is reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler He is on the page where the Braille alphabet is being described. .

S: Tell me more about the book.

C: If you like biographies, you would probably like this book. It is about a young person doing some really big and important things. Like inventing an entirely new alphabet! And he was also blind!

S: Yes, but maybe being blind, he knew what would help him better than seeing people who assumed that everybody should use the same alphabet. In the book we learn that Louis as a student learns about a writing system devised by an army captain and then modifies it in novel ways that would make it practical and easy to learn and use.

C: Yes. The government and the school do not want to use his system at first.

S: Yes, first his school has a headmaster who likes his ideas but once he is replaced, the new director bans its use.

C: The students already had been using it, but the new headmaster bans it. So they still use it, but in secret.

S: Yes, it is a very interesting story, isn’t it?

C: Yes, it definitely is. But it is also very sad.

S: Why do you say that?

C: Because he works so hard to develop this alphabet, he works when everybody is sleeping. But then people do not want to use it.

S: But in the end things work out, don’t they?

C: Yes. But he also dies.

S: Yes, people do die, but you are right that his death is sad too.

C: He dies from tuberculosis, and we can cure it today, right?

S: Yes, that is true and it is indeed sad. But at least he knew his alphabet was being used and was much appreciated by then. So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Fascinating, biography, black-and-white illustrations.

S: Hmm, that is a few more words than three, but I’ll let it be. What do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has appreciated reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler, and recommends it to other little bunnies who might like to learn about a young person who overcame big obstacles and achieved great things.
Caramel has appreciated reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler, and recommends it to other little bunnies who might like to learn about a young person who overcame big obstacles and achieved great things.