Cover image for What do they do with all that poo? / written by Jane Kurtz ; illustrated by Allison Black.
What do they do with all that poo? / written by Jane Kurtz ; illustrated by Allison Black.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Beach Lane Books, [2018]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
"An exploration of different types of animal poo and what the zoo uses it for"-- Provided by publisher.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
591.5 KUR Book Junior Collection

On Order



Find out what happens to all of the poo at the zoo in this funny and factual picture book!

There are so many different kinds of animals at the zoo, and they each make lots and lots (and sometimes LOTS!) of poo. So what do zoos do with all of that poo? This zany, fact-filled romp explores zoo poo, from cube-shaped wombat poo to white hyena scat, and all of the places it ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper--even backyard gardens!

Author Notes

Jane Kurtz was born in Portland, Oregon, but when she was two years old, her parents decided to move to Ethiopia, where she spent most of her childhood. Jane speaks about being an author at schools and conferences--in all but eleven of the United States, so far, and such places as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Germany, Romania, England, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Japan. She helped start Ethiopia Reads (, a nonprofit that is planting the first libraries for children in Ethiopia. She is the author of many books for children.

Allison Black is an illustrator and designer specializing in cute and colorful creations. Originally from upstate New York, Allison received her BFA at Syracuse University, and has since lived in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and now Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, she has developed products ranging from baby bedding and toddler clothes to Christmas ornaments and Easter baskets. But no matter what she's creating, she always brings a little Allison flair to the product through her illustration style, thoughtful design, and fanciful critters.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kurtz (Planet Jupiter) playfully delves into the diversity of dung found at the zoo in her latest picture book. "A wombat's poo is cube-shaped, so it isn't very roly. / Some snakes poop only once a year. They digest their food sloooow-ly." Simple rhyming couplets deliver the facts, with accompanying sentences providing additional detail (e.g., "Wombats are highly territorial. They each deposit 80-100 droppings every evening as a signpost to say 'I'm here.'"). The first half of the book discusses how various creatures take care of back-end business, while the second describes how zoos manage all that manure (much of it is trucked to landfills, while some is composted into "Zoo Doo," among other things). The brightly colored, cartoon-style illustrations by Black (Barnyard Boogie!) add levity, as hippos grin, sloths smile, and bats beam. Poop of various sizes is buried, sniffed, squirted, weighed, and even thrown. Young readers going through a bathroom-humor stage should enjoy the topic and the book's light tone but, whether appreciative, awed, or grossed out, all will come away informed. Ages 3-8. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A zoo might have to deal with more than 5,000 pounds of poop each dayquite a waste-removal challenge. In the first half of the book, Kurtz describes the feces of familiar zoo animals, emphasizing the wide variety of textures, shapes, and smells of animal poop in a lighthearted yet information-oriented manner. Key animal behaviors or features of poop are highlighted in the main rhyming text at the top of each page (A wombats poo is cube-shaped, so it isnt very roly. / Some snakes poop only once a year. They digest their food sloooow-ly), while additional information can be found in secondary prose on the bottom (Because their bodies are so efficient, snakes poop less often than almost any other animals). In between the text blocks, the friendly, smiling zoo creatures and their dung are displayed in colorful cartoonlike images. Midway through, the focus shifts to the efforts of zoos to collect, dispose of, recycle, and study animal waste: So what do zoos do / with all that poo? Young naturalists may be surprised and gratified by the answers. danielle j. ford (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.