Right off the bat, the title lets you know what you’re in for: The Gruesome, Disgusting, And Absolutely Vile Gross-O-Pedia: A Startling Collection of Repulsive Trivia You Won’t Want to Know! You should most definitely take this title seriously. Rachel Federman has compiled over 500 facts in this book for big kids and kids-at-heart, and she doesn’t hold back.
I can tell you that from the start as readers look upon the table of contents, they know to prepare themselves for disgusting facts about bizarre cuisine, creepy crawlies, barbaric bodies, and of course, farts & culture, and much more. Thankfully, that last one was more about gross trivia that had to do with the arts– think Lady Gaga’s meat dress, the contents of the witches’ brew in Macbeth, with only a few fart facts thrown in for good measure. (Honestly, James Joyce, once declared that he could recognize the smell of his girlfriend’s farts anywhere. Yes, that James Joyce!)
This is the type of book that older kids will pore over just so they can squeal and groan and share the yuck with anyone around them. Alternatively, it could be the mom in the family who does that, I’m just saying. Okay, I couldn’t help myself, I simply had to read some of these parts aloud so someone else could share in the grossness. After reading some of the bits and pieces in the chapter about odd foods eaten around the world and disgusting things that are likely in the foods we eat right here at home, there were images in my head that were hard to wash away. Especially when I wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the next time! (If you’re a huge PB fan like me, you may want to skip that part…)
If you think one of your kids would totally be into reading about scorpion delicacies, bee urine, and what some of those words in the ingredients list really mean, then The Gruesome, Disgusting, And Absolutely Vile Gross-O-Pedia: A Startling Collection of Repulsive Trivia You Won’t Want to Know! would likely bring a smile to their face, a perfectly nice, grossed out smile.
As a preschool teacher and a mother of three, gross things are often a part of Dawn’s world, from catching vomit in her bare hands or scooping floating poops out of the tub. Stories like those have been known to make an appearance on her blog, my thoughts exactly.