I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History’s Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia

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Stars: ****

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2010)
Children’s Nonfiction
48 pages
Ages 4-8

Summary: It wasn’t too long ago that people tried all sorts of things to help sick people feel better. They tried wild things like drinking a glass full of millipedes or putting some mustard on one’s head.  Some of the cures worked, and some of them…well, let’s just say that millipedes, living or dead, are not meant to be ingested. Carlyn Beccia takes readers on a colorful and funny medical mystery tour to discover that while times may have changed, many of today’s most reliable cure-alls have their roots in some very peculiar practices, and so relevant connections can be drawn from what they did then to what we do now. – from  amazon.com

This is the second book by Carlyn Beccia I’ve reviewed. I did a three day book tour for Raucous Royals: Day One, Day Two, Day Three.

Although in general, I’m not a fan of reading about history, I loved this book. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is because it was too short. I would have preferred more information but it’s a good start for children. I love the way the book is set up. It’s a quiz book. Many past ‘cures’ for common ailments are shown. You have to decide which one(s) actually worked. Then turn the page for a description of each cure and how well it worked.

So which of these three cures for sore throats helped? A frog down the throat, a necklace made from earthworms or a dirty sock tied around the neck? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Don’t think just because you are adult you will know the answer either, I got some wrong and some right, about half and half. The author also gives us the origin of each strange cure.

Links of Interest: Carlyn Beccia,
Other Reviews: A Patchwork of Books, Shelf-Employed,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.