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 physics books for babies by Chris Ferrie

This past week Caramel got his paws on a handful of board books from the Baby University series, written mainly by Chris Ferrie. He is a voracious reader, and these little books, written for tinier bunnies and their adults, were all read within the course of one evening. Then he reread them and reread them again. And for today’s review, he insisted that we should talk about them. So that is what is happening today: Caramel is reviewing six books on physics from the Baby University series, and Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Electromagnetism for Babies, Astrophysics for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, Quantum Physics for Babies, and Rocket Science for Babies, almost all written by Chris Ferrie, except the astrophysics one which is coauthored by him and Julia Kregenow.
Caramel reviews Electromagnetism for Babies, Astrophysics for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, Quantum Physics for Babies, and Rocket Science for Babies, almost all written by Chris Ferrie, except the astrophysics one which is coauthored by Ferrie and Julia Kregenow.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, why did you want to review these books?

Caramel: Well, I liked them. I review only the books I like.

S: But aren’t these books for babies?

C: Yes. So? I don’t care. I liked them!

S: I agree they are cute and fun. But did you find them amusing? Did you find them informative?

C: Both!

S: They do explain some basic physics in simple terms. And even for a little bunny like you, who can read big books, they could teach some basic principles, right?

C: Yes.

S: Okay, let us start from the beginning. The earliest physics these books talks about is Newtonian physics. Can you tell me a bit about what you learn in that book?

C: This book talks about gravity, and mass, and acceleration.

S: Hmm, those are big important words. Do you know what they mean?

C: Yeah. For example the book tells me what gravity is. It says: “We can’t see gravity. It is the force that keeps us on the ground.”

S: I see.

C: There are forces and they make a ball move faster. That is what accelerate means. And when an apple falls from a tree, it “feels the force of gravity, and Sir Isaac Newton feels the force of the apple.”

S: Yes, so in this book we go through Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.

C: I knew only one of them before reading this book, the one that says “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. So I learned two more.

S: That is good! Then let us move to the book on electromagnetism. That is I believe the next one, in terms of the history of science.

C: Hmm, let me quickly read it again… Okay, this one, like all the others, starts with a ball. All of the books start with “This is a ball.”

S: It is a good starting point, especially if you want babies to be interested, right?

C: Yes. I like balls too.

S: I know! So okay, in this book you learn about electric charges and then magnets and then finally that the ideas of electricity and magnetism are related. Right?

C: Yes! I heard that they use big magnets in wind turbines to generate electricity! They are using this idea!

S: That is cool! Here is an article we found about “the critical role of magnets in wind turbines” and read together.

Caramel is looking at Electromagnetism for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, and Quantum Physics for Babies, all written by Chris Ferrie.
Caramel is looking at Electromagnetism for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, and Quantum Physics for Babies, all written by Chris Ferrie.

S: Next let us talk about the book on quantum physics. Tell me about this one.

C: This also starts with a ball. Then it tells us about atoms and electrons. Electrons have energy. This energy is “quantized”.

S: That means that the energy electrons can have has to be among a few possible values. Not all values are allowed.

C: Yes. I learned that from this book.

S: That is some quite fancy knowledge Caramel. I’m glad you are learning all this already!

Caramel is looking at Astrophysics for Babies by Ferrie and Kregenow and General Relativity for Babies by Ferrie.

S: Tell me next about the astrophysics one. This is written by Chris Ferrie and Julie Kregenow.

C: This too starts with “This is a ball.” And then it says planets and stars are like balls. Then it talks about elements on the periodic table. They were all created in stars!

S: Yes, that part made me think about that Symphony of Science song we like to listen to. There is a part in that song where Carl Sagan says, “We’re made of star stuff”. He then says “We’re a way for the cosmos to know itself.” I love that!

C: Yeah, let us embed the video here!

S: Sure, why not?

“”We Are All Connected” was made from sampling Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, The History Channel’s Universe series, Richard Feynman’s 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s cosmic sermon, and Bill Nye’s Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), Stephen Hawking’s Universe, Cosmos, the Powers of 10, and more. It is a tribute to great minds of science, intended to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy through the medium of music.”

S: “And there is much to be learned.” I love this song. But let us get back to the books. Next if you want, we can talk about the book about general relativity.

C: This begins with the same sentence: “This is a ball.”

S: Then what happens? What do you learn?

C: I learn about mass and how it warps space, and then about black holes.

S: All pretty cool stuff really…

C: And now let us talk about my favorite one.

S: Yes, let us talk about Rocket Science for Babies.

Caramel is posing with Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie, his favorite so far in this series.
Caramel is posing with Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie, his favorite so far in this series.

C: This is my favorite! It again starts with “This is a ball.” Like all the other ones. Then it talks about lift and airplane wings and thrust. And rockets.

S: Why is it your favorite?

C: Because I love rocket ships and planes and balls. And the book is all about them.

S: Yes, that is a good reason to like the book. Did you learn something new from this book?

C: Well, not really. I already knew a bit about lift and thrust and such. But it is still a cool book.

Caramel is reading Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie, his favorite so far in this series.
Caramel is reading Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie, his favorite so far in this series.

S: So do you think it is time to give these books away to a baby bunny?

C: No! I like them and want to read them a lot more times before we do that!

S: Okay, you can read and reread them as many times as you like. I do think they are good ways to set up the fundamental ideas of some of these things. Do you think these books would work well for babies?

C: Yes, I would have loved to have read them with you when I was a baby.

S: So would I! I myself would recommend these books to parents, especially if they are willing to talk to their little ones about the science a bit, even if it has to be with the help of the internet. But we only found out about them this year. Oh well, better late than never, right? Let us wrap this up. What three words would you use to describe these books?

C: Helpful, colorful, fun.

S: I think those work! So what should our readers do?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading and rereading Electromagnetism for Babies, Astrophysics for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, Quantum Physics for Babies, and Rocket Science for Babies, almost all written by Chris Ferrie, except the astrophysics one which is coauthored by Ferrie and Julia Kregenow.
Caramel enjoyed reading and rereading Electromagnetism for Babies, Astrophysics for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, General Relativity for Babies, Quantum Physics for Babies, and Rocket Science for Babies, almost all written by Chris Ferrie, except the astrophysics one which is coauthored by Ferrie and Julia Kregenow.