A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools)

by Sophia Gholz (Author) Xiana Teimoy (Illustrator)

A History of Toilet Paper (and Other Potty Tools)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

In the beginning, potty time meant the great outdoors . . .

People have been going potty since, well, since the beginning of people! Ever wonder what humans used before potties or paper? You might be surprised at the clever tools that humans came up with over the centuries. From the great outdoors to ceramic pots, bum brushes and bidets, prepare for an adventure as we explore the interesting and sometimes shocking history of human potty practices! Award-winning children's author Sophia Gholz and illustrator Xiana Teimoy team up to put a humorous spin on the fun and fascinating facts surrounding the history of toilet paper (and other potty tools) in this delightful book.

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 3--Gholz has found a topic that matters to every reader. She carefully traces the development of "potty tools" from the days of early humans to the present. Comical illustrations show Neanderthals in animal skins carrying leaves and early Mesopotamians emptying chamber pots. Readers will be particularly glad that the Roman custom of a communal tersorium ("bum brush") is a thing of the past. Significant advances such as the invention of paper or the flushing toilet are explained and also shown in humorous fashion. While images show people from a variety of time periods with their potties, outhouses, and bidets, clothing discreetly conceals those using the facilities. The cover features a large roll of toilet paper with the Scott brothers perched on top and other characters posed nearby. Readers will appreciate a scene near the conclusion that shows a cave woman holding up a seashell and a modern mother holding out a roll of toilet paper, juxtaposing how far amenities have come. As Gholz points out, "Can you believe humans were around for more than 195,000 years before they invented something as simple as toilet paper?" Back matter includes a time line with thumbnail images, a glossary, selected bibliography, and author's note. VERDICT An engaging look at how various bathroom technology has changed over time; this is sure to appeal to the elementary school sense of humor.--Suzanne Costner

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Sophia Gholz
Sophia Gholz is the award-winning children's book author of The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng, Jack Horner, Dinosaur Hunter!, and This Is Your World: The Story of Bob Ross. Sophia loves searching for interesting or wacky historical facts. She also loves to laugh.

Xiana Teimoy is an illustrator from a cute little city in the Spanish far northwest. She has a degree in Biology as well as a Master's in Design and Illustration. She works from her cozy studio located in sunny Valencia, where she develops her work using digital media.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2022

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