Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Toilet: How It Works

What kid--or grown-up for that matter--hasn't wondered what happens when a toilet is flushed? In yet another superior beginning reader nonfiction book, David Macaulay provides the answer. With a generous dose of humor, Macaulay begins at the beginning--how food is processed into human waste--and proceeds to explain how a toilet works and how waste is treated as it is processed through septic and sewer systems.

Each illustration reinforces the text. Some drawings show labeled cutaway views, such as a toilet tank or a septic system. Another provides an impressive bird's-eye view of a city. Many of the illustrations include clever details, such as the empty toilet paper roll with just a scrap of paper dangling or the walking set of human organs complete with a How Things Work manual.

The book begins with "Everybody knows what a toilet is for," showing spot art of a dog drinking from the toilet bowl, a goldfish being sent on its way to the afterlife, and an toilet remade into a flower-fille planter. By the time they reach the last page, readers will have a much more inclusive knowledge of what a toilet is for and how waste is disposed.

Toilet: How It Works
by David Macaulay with Sheila Keenan
David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook, 32 pages
Published: September 2013