Science Book a Day Interviews Richard Platt and Mary Platt


Special thanks to Richard and Mary Platt for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – Don’t flush: lifting the lid on the science of poo and wee

Richard Platt is the author of more than sixty informative books for young readers, and he also writes for innovative multimedia projects. Some of his most popular works have been collaborations with illustrator Stephen Biesty on the “Cross-Sections” series. After a failed attempt to forge a career as a photographer, Platt discovered that he had a knack for writing. “I started writing about photography: first magazine articles, then books,” he explained on the Walker Books Web site. “I got a job editing children’s books, then went on to write them.” – From

Richard’s Homepage:

#1 – What was the impetus for Don’t Flush?

Well, it started as a reaction to the way that, in the wealthy Western world, we waste so much. And sewage is perhaps the worst example. Getting rid of it is a huge problem, yet it used to be regarded as Really Useful Stuff. Plus, kids are always interested in anything to do with pee and poo.

#2a – How have children responded to a book on poo and wee?

They go “Yuk!” quite a lot, and giggle, but many of them respond in quite an adult way and get the message of the book immediately.

#2b – How do the parents respond?

Generally, they are fascinated, and most of them learn something they didn’t know.

#3 – I am intrigued. How have poo and wee helped solve crimes??

We are intrigued too, but unfortunately we are in the middle of moving house and we don’t have a copy of the book, or our notes. Ask us another.

#4a – How did you do research for this book?

We started looking on the internet, but we came across a lot of “facts” that we doubted, so we ended up doing a lot of the research from books that we bought and borrowed. We also contacted experts who were very generous with their time.

#4b – What was your favourite story?

RICHARD: My favourite was the exploding poo story
MARY: I loved the cow with the tube up its bum and a balloon of methane on its back

#5 – Are you and Mary working on any new projects/books?

RICHARD: Well, I said at one point “Never again” because we argued so much about the book. But I have mellowed a bit, and would willingly cooperate again with my lovely, brilliant wife! Unfortunately publishers have become extremely cautious and are simply not commissioning many new titles. I am writing several small books, but nothing like “Don’t Flush”, and nothing with Mary right now.

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