________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number . . . .February 17, 2017


To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space. (Dr. Dave Astronaut).

Dave Williams & Lorenda Cunti. Illustrated by Theo Krynauw.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2016.
56 pp., pbk., hc., epub & pdf, $14.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-853-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-854-8 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55451-855-5 (epub), ISBN 978-1-55451-856-2 (pdf).

Subject Heading:
Space flight-Psychological effect.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Beth Wilcox Chng.

*** /4



Space toilets look kind of similar to Earth toilets, meaning we can pretty much guess which body part goes where. But watch out! Using a space toilet is not as simple as it looks. Astronauts take part in mandatory training in simulators that imitate what itís like to be in a weightless environment. It takes a lot of practice to make sure things go where theyíre suppose to and donít get stuck. Itís potty training all over again!


This nonfiction text on bodily functions in space answers some of the most common questions kids have about the daily life of an astronaut. Written by Canadian astronaut Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti, the information is presented in a few paragraphs per page with large graphics. Although it deals with going to the bathroom, burping, and farting in space, it does so with a minimum of toilet humour. The text is approachable and clear. Most pages have a few boxes of text set on an illustrated background accompanied by humorous cartoons and one or two relevant photographs. Although there are images of Dr. Williams throughout the book taken during spaceflights, the text does not use personal anecdotes or first person narration.

     As a nonfiction text, some textual features are missing that would have improved the clarity and readability. For instance, keywords are not bolded, and there is no glossary. There is a detailed table of contents and good use of subtitles throughout the book. The text also provides a list for further reading, online resources, and an index.

     To Burp or Not to Burp will draw in readers with its provocative subject matter and end up teaching them practical information about the effects of gravity on the human body and life in space. This book would be a great resource for students to think critically about life in space.


Beth Wilcox Chng, a teacher-librarian in Prince George, BC, is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Childrenís Literature program at the University of British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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ISSN 1201-9364
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