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Literature / The World of Poo

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The World of Poo (in full Terry Pratchett presents Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo) is a sort of follow-up to Where's My Cow?, a children's book-slash-Discworld artifact based on a book that Sam Vimes reads to his son. Young Sam being older, the book is aimed at kids rather than toddlers. (In Snuff, Vimes reflects that Miss Beedle knows exactly what will make a six-year-old boy laugh until he's sick.) Unlike Where's My Cow?, which is a story about the story, World of Poo is told "straight", just the way Young Sam would read it.

It tells the story of a young boy named Geoffrey, who travels to Ankh-Morpork from a small town in the Sto Plains, and quickly becomes fascinated by the wide range of poo that exists in the city, beginning a poo collection.

This book contains examples of:

  • Animals Lack Attributes: Widdler has a dot for an anus in a couple of illustrations, as does a rabbit seen hopping behind the shed where Geoffrey keeps his poo museum.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Grand-mama claims that pearl are oyster poo. Technically, they're more like oyster pimples or scars: blobs of secretion built up around irritating particles embedded in the body's surface.
  • Brick Joke: In previous Discworld novels, Vimes refers to the Sunshine Sanctuary's dragon-caretakers as "Interchangeable Emmas". Geoffrey meets two of the Sanctuary's staff, and they're both named Emma.
  • Collector of the Strange: Geoffrey's poo collection. Previously he collected interesting sticks and things that look like potatoes. Grandmama says he takes after his Uncle Cedric, who had the world's largest collection of things that look like other things.
  • Continuity Nod: Lots of them.
  • Footnote Fever: The in-universe author, Felicity Beedle, shares Pterry's love of this trope, both for informative and humorous purposes.
  • Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: The proprietor of the candy shop owns one, although he claims it only tells people to piss off if it likes them.
  • Head Pet: Subverted by Old Pediment, who wears a pigeon decoy on his head to fool real ones into assuming he's only a statue of a gargoyle, and safe to land on.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted on practically every page.
  • Recursive Canon. Or something like it. Ostensibly the work of Miss Felicity Beedle, who appears as a character in Snuff.
  • Shout-Out: Two to British commercials:
  • Solid Gold Poop: Ting-Tang-Bang cats' feces are used to make fireworks. Harry King turns a profit from ordinary poop and pee, selling their compounds for agricultural and industrial purposes.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Cruder terms for poo are deftly avoided, but "piss" is not.
  • Toilet Humour: The central theme of the book.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In Harry King's profession, "paperwork" does not refer to business documents.
  • Urine Trouble: How Widdler the puppy gets his name. Technically, the bird-dropping that lands on Geoffrey's head also counts, as it contains both urine and feces.