April 10, 2013

Toilets and tubs

What You Never Knew About Tubs, Toilets, & Showers
by Patricia Lauber
illustrated by John Manders

One of the world's earliest cities, Mohenjo-Daro in the Middle East, had underground pipes and sewers. It also had a huge public bath. The Greeks and Romans, and other non-European countries, also believed in cleanliness. But with the fall of the Roman and Greek civilizations, clean was out and dirt was in. It would be 1,400 years before bathing came back into style.

Lauber takes readers on a brief tour of bathing and plumbing history in her humorous book. The fun increases with the cartoon-like illustrations, complete with dialogue and naked bottoms.

Toilets in History
by Elizabeth Newbery

This is a brief look at the evolution of toilets in England. The language is full of British jargon, but some kids enjoy learning new words. They'll also like the cartoons, jokes, and photos. They can even make a garderobe chute from which a soldier can pop up. If you know what a garderobe is, you'll realize that it's a really disgusting thing to climb into.

For those interested enough to visit England, Newbery includes a list of historic places where you can view latrines and toilets.

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