Reviews for I Feel Better With a Frog in My Throat : History's Strangest Cures


Booklist Reviews 2010 October #1
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. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Tongue-in-cheek warnings to readers ("Some cures in this book are gross") set the tone for this look at long-ago remedies for eight common complaints (cough, fever, etc.). For each, an introductory page presents three potential cures, challenging readers to decide which was real; a page turn reveals the answer. Understated caricature illustrations reflect the volume's humor. Bib. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1
Disgusting and futile medical practices are always a pleasure to contemplate. Beccia, following closely in the spirit of The Raucous Royals (2008)—dry-witted artwork, conversational text, engaging historical detective work—asks readers to guess which "cures" may actually have helped a handful of ailments. Take a nasty cough, for example: Should you take a heaping helping of caterpillar fungus, frog soup or cherry bark? Common good sense will lead readers to wag their heads no when it comes to sprinkling mummy powder on a wound or drilling a hole in your head to relieve a headache, though some counterintuitive measures will come as a surprise success: spider web for an open wound, frog slime for a sore throat, moldy bread to treat a cut. The author provides intriguing background information on the cures—where they arose, why they were thought to be efficacious—and pulls more than one gem out of the nastiness, such as the property of silver to kill bacteria, giving birth to a familiar expression: "In the Middle Ages, wealthy-born babies sucked on silver spoons to protect against plague...." (note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 May/June
Feeling under the weather? Perhaps you will find your cure in the pages of this very interesting book. Historical remedies are presented and either supported as real treatments or disputed as superstition. The format is like a game show, which will make it fun to use with students. Cures are presented and the reader can guess which of them might actually work. Then details about how the cure worked or did not work are given. This would be a great way to introduce the scientific method. The illustrations are reminiscent of the Middle Ages, and the facts about each of the remedies are presented in a fun way. Some of the rather gruesome descriptions may disturb adults and younger children, but older elementary students will love it! Recommended. Beverly Combs, Library Media Specialist, Parsons PreKindergarten School, Garland, Texas ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 November

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, MI

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