Spit: What's Cool About Drool

Item Information
Item#: 9780228102328
Author Batten, Mary
Cover Paperback
On Order 0

The title says it all.

It's yucky. It's gooey
It makes your food chewy
Ptooey! Ptooey!
Oh, spit.

Ew! Nasty!
Ew! Gross!
But spit is no spitball joke.
Drool is cool!
It's one of the most amazing fluids in your body.

In Spit, renowned science writer and children's author Mary Batten examines everything that's cool about drool. Spit keeps your mouth moist. It begins digesting food the minute you take a bite. It keeps your teeth from wearing away. It keeps your tongue from choking you to death! But it isn't just humans that rely on spit, anything with a mouth needs saliva to keep functioning. A vampire bat has special saliva that stops its victim's blood from clotting. A spitting spider can trap prey in gooey saliva that it can spit in 1/700th of a second -- that's fast! And, if spitballs are your thing, perhaps try your hand at spitting antelope dung; the record, set in South Africa, is 51 feet!

In Spit, Batten's informative and informal text is paired with humorous illustrations and real-life photos to help tell the important story hiding in this gross-out subject. From the DNA in human mouths to the science behind Pavlov's dogs to the astounding wonders of saliva in the animal kingdom, Spit uncovers the secrets secreting in the many mouths on the globe.

Review Quotes
A stream of information about saliva's host of forms and functions. Why think about spit? For one thing, the biodiversity of oceans and rainforests may get plenty of notice, but as Batten writes, "you have a diverse natural ecosystem right inside your mouth... Lively color stock photos and crudely drawn pen-and-ink figures make an ill-fitting mix but do catch the tang of the narrative... A lot to digest--but easy to chew, swallow, and regurgitate.

Drool-worthy nonfiction... The considerable amount of scientific information is presented in a playful, conversational style... Funny cartoon illustrations by James Braithwaite reinforce concepts explained in the text and are reminiscent of Gary Larson's Far Side comics... Veteran science writer Mary Batten includes the right dose of gross... There is lots to chew on in this informative and engaging book. Highly Recommended.

Batten explores the fascinating, and sometimes gross, world of spit. Well researched and intriguing, the book delves into the scientists who studied saliva, examines current research about what spit can tell us about our ancestors and how it can help diagnose illnesses, and relays impressive tales of how other animals use their spit to communicate, defend themselves, or spread disease. The combination of full-color photographs, humorous cartoons, short chapters, and a disgustingly fun topic will especially appeal to reluctant readers. Students conducting research will also find this a useful read... Although the writing is intended for an older audience, the topic is likely to attract younger readers. Ambitious elementary students would find this book just as accessible and enjoyable as older students. This would be a great addition for a middle or high school collection.

From spit tests and spit's healing properties to various cultural meanings of saliva, Spit surveys science, physiology, and natural and human history alike, compiling fun facts and pairing them with modern visuals that kids will enjoy.

Educational, fun... Can serve as leisure choices as well as introductory study guides.