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I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures Hardcover – October 25, 2010

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–From chicken soup, honey, and mother's kisses to frog soup, mummy powder, and leeches, Beccia highlights some unusual cures for common illnesses that have been practiced throughout history. Organized by coughs, colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachaches, fever, headaches, and other sicknesses, the book first presents the cures and then challenges readers to guess which methods have been effective. In the ensuing pages, she describes the philosophy behind each treatment and notes its utility. While grounded in science, Beccia takes a holistic view, leading to some surprising results. Though the application of mummy powder to wounds may actually have spread more disease, bleeding may have sometimes helped by starving staph infections of iron. The “frog slime” involved in the titular cure is now used in some modern medications, and mother's kisses are an example of the beneficial power of placebos. Digital mixed-media color illustrations and manageable blocks of text invite reluctant readers to browse this high-interest title. While the figures are often awkwardly composed, their expressions as they confront each unpalatable cure are highly entertaining. In comparison, Richard Platt's Doctors Did What?! (Two-Can, 2006) covers slightly more ground through a time line approach, but the tone is sarcastic and the use of photos makes for a more appalling read. Beccia's approachable introduction is more suitable for younger readers and all those with sensitive stomachs.–Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Author-illustrator Beccia has gathered some of history’s strangest cures for what ails you. Some of these are silly (puppy kisses), some are sticky (spider webs), some are stinky (skunk oil), and some are sweetly sentimental (a mother’s kisses). Do any of them work? You bet, and part of the fun is guessing which ones (don’t you dare turn to the page where the answers are revealed). Arranged by malady (coughs, colds, fevers, etc.), each section is typically introduced by three possible cures, with wounds getting nine choices. The pages that follow reveal which cures work, why, and when and where they might have originated. Beccia’s droll text is greatly enhanced by her witty single- and double-page illustrations, filled with humorous details. Boys will especially enjoy the ickier cures (anyone for urine drinking?), while teachers and librarians will welcome the careful research and the useful appended bibliography. Grades 1-4. --Michael Cart

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547225709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547225708
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carlyn Beccia children's book have won numerous awards including the Golden Kite Honor recipient for picture book illustration, the International Reading Association's Children's and Young Adult Book Award and the Cybil Award for Non-fiction picture book. Beccia teaches digital painting throughout the United States and is author of the best selling, Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner. She paints with 'digital oil brushes' to create a unique and deeply textured art. She enjoys giving live demonstrations of how art is created on the computer and encourages kids to experiment with the digital medium.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Most youngsters remember when Mary Poppins cheerfully claimed that, "Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down," but many, many years ago there were some pretty nasty, gnarly cures for whatever might ail a person. Take for example, in medieval times if you had a sore throat you just might have ended up with a real live frog down your throat or had a necklace strung with earthworms hanging around your neck. It sounds totally disgusting, but while the earthworms wouldn't have helped one iota, there was a faint possibility that the frog down the throat bit may have worked. When "certain species of frogs get annoyed, they secrete poisonous slime out of their skin." More than likely some poor kids got "terrible tummy aches," but these days "frog slime is sometimes used in antibiotics and painkillers." In pill form that is.

In this marvelously entertaining book there are cures aplenty to make you roll your eyes or chuckle as you imagine someone trying to inflict some awful cure on you. Some of these cures actually worked and, in some instances, are the basis for modern cures. There are cures for everything, but the most common school skipping excuse is the stomachache. Take a look at these three "cures:" A Urine B Dirt C Millipedes (YUK!) No, yes, no. Dirt really has been used throughout the centuries to cure stomachaches. You'll read all about why it has been and will find that Philips milk of magnesia has white clay as the main ingredient.

This tantalizingly fun (and sometimes gross) book of cures will give the reader a case of the giggles and a learning experience rolled into one. There are a selection of "cures" for the cough, cold, sore throat, wound, stomachache, fever, headache, and "every sickness.
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Format: Hardcover
jeudi, le vingt janvier, 2011

This is our first encounter with Author/Artist Carlyn Beccia and her work. Love the informative, inviting content regarding medicine and history with the charming, "antiquey" artwork Artist Carlyn Beccia had created. A must read for ages 3 to 100+. Try it and you will be chuckling, and maybe laughing into coughing starting from the cover page. Just beware not to fall off the chair when you do that, unless you would like to try some of the recommended cures.

Being an integrated PK-8th science teacher, I have been hungrily searching for books that will feed the young minds in a healthy and delightful way. Artist Beccia's work was so easy to take in. It "tasted" like double dark chocolate hot bread apple-almond pudding that is attractive, delicious and "nutritious". We need more masterpieces like these that children can both learn, absorb the content and appreciate the beauty that lies in all the subjects taught in schools and at homes. Hands down and high tens for this book.

Keep up with your marvelous work and continue to do so, Artist Beccia.
Make it healthy, engaging, "antiquey", and "soul-delighting"!

Jubilee Jhrung:)"Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." Psalms 34:8
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Format: Hardcover
By nationally syndicated children's book review columnist Kendal Rautzhan. Visit my website for more great book suggestions: Greatest Books for Kids ([...])

Read aloud: age 8 - 9 and older.
Read yourself: age 9 - 10 and older.

Long ago, if you were sick, there were some mighty odd remedies used to cure what ailed you. In this clever book, author/illustrator Carlyn Beccia presents a fascinating look at such remedies by posing history's strangest cures for many common ailments.
If someone had a headache, what would help - putting a hole in the head, putting mustard on the head, or getting a shock from an electric eel? When someone had a stomachache, did any of these cures help - urine, dirt, or millipedes?
Citing the origin of each of the "cures," describing where and when such remedies were used, and zeroing-in on what worked, what didn't, and why, this wildly interesting book will have kids (and adults) pondering ancient, modern and future medicine in more ways than one.
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Format: Hardcover
I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat is an entertaining and informative non-fiction picture book about some of history’s most unusual remedies for minor ailments such as: cough, colds, sore throat, wounds, stomachache, fever and headache. I really enjoyed the book's format of posing a question, first asking which possible cure may have issued results. Then having the answer and reasoning afterward. The author also included the possible origins each of these “cures,” if they lasted as a treatment and how they evolved overtime. Some of the information was a bit shocking and may have people checking over their medication’s listed ingredients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating and engaging for my 7 y.o. He couldn't put it down when he got it. Every time he picks it up he comes to me with something new he learned from it.
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By Jan on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a very good and interesting books my grandson who is 8 really enjoyed it and wanted to read to many times over
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