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What You Never Knew About Tubs, Toilets, & Showers (Around-The-House History) Hardcover – May 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Around-The-House History
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; y First printing edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689824203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689824203
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-4-A lighthearted but fact-filled look at plumbing throughout history. Starting with the Stone Age, Lauber traces key developments related to bathing, washing, and the disposal of human waste. The ways in which different civilizations met the practical challenges of providing efficient tubs and toilets are fascinating. A conversational tone makes the text accessible, with just enough facts and figures included to give the information substance. Specific details and general observations work together to create an entertaining overview of the topic. Cartoon illustrations, many with dialogue balloons, add more humor. Figures are lively caricatures, with a variety of sometimes bare bodies showing bathroom practices through the ages. The exaggerations in the illustrations present humorous looks at such conditions as dumping chamber pots onto the street and therapeutic ice-water showers. Though many of the pencil-and-watercolor cartoons will evoke giggles, they also successfully depict historical scenes in ways that readers will remember. Much of the history centers on Europe, and later America, but a two-page spread shows the emphasis that other civilizations placed on sanitation. The intriguing historical facts and the clever humor make this an excellent title for nonfiction booktalking. Readers wanting a more thorough, but no less fascinating presentation can move up to Penny Colman's Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers (Atheneum, 1994).

Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Humorous cartoon-style artwork in mixed media lightheartedly advances this picture-book history of baths and toilets. Looking back as far as the Stone Age, Lauber efficiently telescopes history to reveal that the earliest-known bathtub--a large pottery bowl--came from ancient Crete. The Romans built both private and public baths. One huge facility accommodated 3,000 bathers simultaneously. Public toilets were found in ancient Roman and Greek cities. Amusing sidebars poke fun at the primitive waste-disposal methods that prevailed through the ages. Youngsters will roar in delight at the sight of King Louis XIV of France receiving visitors while seated on his closestool (a chamber pot hidden beneath an upholstered seat). They'll also be intrigued to discover that baths were considered unhealthy during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Not until the discovery of germs in the mid-1800s was the importance of cleanliness recognized, and it wasn't until 1851 that the White House had a bathtub with running water. Children will relish this comic history; pair it with Mick Manning's Wash, Scrub, Brush! [BKL My 1 01], which is a more practical approach to good grooming. Ellen Mandel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ruhama Kordatzky on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A quick history about plumbing, bathing, and attitudes towards cleanliness! Lauber takes us on a jaunt through history starting with the cave man and his ideas about bathing. She then jumps to the ancient Middle East, and then moves on to Greece and Rome. Then she covers the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Lauber then moves to the United States, and the rest of the book focuses on modern bathing. The book is illustrated by John Manders (who does an excellent job adding bits of humor in his drawings), and does not include any photographs of ancient ruins or artifacts or the like. But there is still plenty of information--did you know that ancient Romans used a sponge on the end of a stick instead of toilet paper? The stick was rinsed in salty water after they used it. And that a flush toilet was invented in 1594? This is a readable nonfiction book that makes learning about the history of cleanliness fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Watkins on August 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After I had read their book on the history of dining, I couldn't wait for this one. Tubs, Toilets and Showers handles the awkward subjects of what you do in the bathroom and how people used to do it. It has vignettes from several cultures and time periods.
Many children (and some adults) will be surprised to learn that the Europeans came to value cleanliness much later than did many other cultures. They may laugh to imagine how certain historical figures might have smelled.
Since the book deals with bathing and eliminating, some of the illustrations do involve nudity. However, the illustrator has drawn the cartoons in such a way that genital areas are hidden. I would not find the drawings objectionable for young children.
Baths and hygiene are often areas of conflict between parents and children. A book like this could give some perspective, and its humor could soften the family bathroom struggles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Arena TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The question, "Where did they go to the bathroom?" is asked at living hsitory museums all the time! Both adults and children want to know the every day details of basic human needs. At the Royal Governor's Palace, the jail, the courthouse, and the homes of signers of the Declaration of Independence -- THAT'S the question whispered by blushing adults or blurted out by curious children.

This book answers all these questions in an honest, entertaining and accurate manner. The illustrations are appropriate for both children and adults. They are less revealing and/or "inapproprate" than classical art.

I heartily recommend this book!
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