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Do Whales Poop? / ¿Las ballenas hacen popó?

Production Details
  • Measurements: 22.5 cm by 16.5 cm (8.8 in by 6.5 in).
  • Texts in English and Spanish.
  • Extensively documented with current scientific research.
  • Printed in sustainable paper (FSC) with spot colors, hardcover and paperback.
  • ISBN 978-607-29-2083-5

Production team

Headed by Chairman Andrew Kluger, an American Non-Profit founded in 1966 that among other things promotes books as educational and cultural objects.


Mexico City – based editorial headed by Mexican graphic designer Tania Pineda, it specializes in high-end book editions and productions.


Mexican writer; this is her fifth published title and her third bilingual story.


Mexican graphic designer and illustrator; this is her third hardcover illustrated book.


Mexican audio engineer and musician who recorded the audiobooks; owner of Orsound Recording Studio.

  • Fun and infographic illustrations explain the science facts.
  • Specific blue and yellow palette created to be color-blind friendly (deuteranopia or protanopia).
  • Water-color texture provides depth and beauty to an otherwise disliked subject matter (poop).

BookBank USA and Ediciones Patoganso present their third collaboration together: a bilingual illustrated book about whales and their poop. C.V. Monterrubio and Alina Galo joined talents to bring to life some amazing and fairly recent scientific discoveries about the importance of whales and their fecal plumes in sustaining ocean and earth life, in the hopes that they can contribute to co-create a healthier balanced environment for all life on Earth.

Scientific information reviewed by Adriana Cortés-Gómez, PhD.
Spot-color printing artwork separation by Katia Hernández
English proofreading by Beatrice Ilana Lieberman

Designing a color-blind friendly book

We’d like all our readers to know that we designed this book’s illustrations with a specific color palette that appealed and felt pleasant to deuteranope and protanope visions. There are some illustrated books for children that talk about color-blindness, but we didn’t find one that was created with solely the colors they see. We wanted to design a book that would appeal to these limited color visions and still be colorful enough for the other 92% (full-color seeing people) to enjoy. With the help of four male friends who have this kind of vision deficiency, Alina Galo tested different combinations and hues of blue and yellow plus black, to find a combination that was enjoyable for all of them.

I grew up with someone with protanopia (or deuteranopia, we never knew). My father and his brothers all had different color-vision deficiencies. My father couldn’t see red, green, purple or pink as full-color vision people could, and he even had a tough time telling apart dark shades of blue, brown or black. He had a hard time with everyday items like clothing, stoplights and signs, and his enjoyment of art and colored books was also limited. Thinking about this, and after seeing the world through his eyes with the help of the Chromatic-Vision Simulator, I decided to make this book with colors that he could’ve seen true-to-form, to honor his memory and to give other boys like him a book that was designed specially for their eyes.

What is color-blindness or color-vision deficiency?
Hint: it has nothing to do with anyone’s skin color

The dictionary’s definition of color-blindness describes human eyesight that is affected with partial or total inability to distinguish one or more chromatic colors, and it has to do with the cones inside the eye, which are sensitive to red, green and blue light.

It’s estimated that color-vision deficiency affects 8% of the world’s population, mostly male (XY) humans, due to the fact that the genetic deficiency is allocated in the X chromosome. The two most common types are Protanopia (red deficiency) and Deuteranopia (green deficiency); very few have Tritanopia (blue deficiency), Monochromatic (presence of only one color cone sight) or Achromatic (absence of all color sight). Even if two people are diagnosed with the same type of color-blindness, it’s possible that they don’t see colors the same way. There are tests available online or at specialized eyesight clinics to help you or someone you know find out if you/they have any kind of color-blindness.

The research process for this book taught me (the author) a lot not only about marine life, but also about color-vision deficiency. I even learned that it’s been studied and theorized that the great dutch impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh had some form of color-blindness! There are now special glasses that provide people with this vision ailment the opportunity to see full color, and time and time again it proves to be a life-changing experience.
My wish is that this book will encourage readers to think about the importance of caring for the ocean, the whales and the health of our environment, and also consider the fact that other people don’t have all senses in full function (eyesight, hearing, etc.) which means that they experience the same reality in a different way.

Bibliography (MLA format)

Krulwich, Robert. “The Power of Poop: a Whale Story.” NPR – Krulwich Wonders. 5 Apr. 2014. 5 Feb. 2020.

Lavery, Trish J., Roudnew, Ben., Gill, Peter., Seymour, Justin., Seuront, Laurent., Johnson, Genevieve., Mitchell, James G., and Smetacek, Victor. “Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean.” The Royal Society Publishing 16 Jun. 2010. 5 Feb. 2020.

Nicol, Dr. Stephen. “Scientists: Whale Poop Is Vital To Ocean’s Carbon Cycle; ‘Huge Amounts Of Iron’.” Interview by News Service. 22 Apr. 2010. 5 Feb. 2020.

De Vos, Dr. Asha and Ireland, Dave. “From Poop to Plankton: Working Together to Conserve our Ocean’s Gardeners.” Interview by Meghan Callon. Royal Ontario Museum. 6 Nov. 2017. 5 Feb. 2020.

Roman, Joe. “Whale Poop Drives Global Nutrient Cycling.” Interview by Christopher Intagliata. Scientific America – 60-Second Science. 28 Oct. 2015. U. of Vermont. 5 Feb. 2020.

Stone, Maddie. “How Whale Poop Balanced Earth’s Nutrients.” Gizmodo. 28 Oct. 2015. 5 Feb. 2020

Doughty, Christopher E., Roman, Joe., Faurby, Søren., Wolf, Adam., Haque, Alifa., Bakker, Elisabeth S., Malhi, Yadvinder., Dunning Jr., John B., and Svenning, Jens-Christian. “Global nutrient transport in a world of giants.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS). Ed. John W. Terborgh. 6 Aug. 2015. Duke University. 5 Feb. 2020.

Pyenson, Nick. “Spying on whales: the past, present and future of earth’s most awesome creatures.” New York: Viking, 2018 · Penguin Books, 2019.

Tyack, Peter. “The Intriguing Sound of Marine Mammals.” TED, April 2010.