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I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures
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I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  473 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Stephanie Swint
Sep 12, 2014 Stephanie Swint rated it it was amazing
My parents, niece Z and I were discussing historic cures for illnesses the other night. Odd topic for after dinner conversation but we are all avid readers and my niece got excited and ran up the stairs to her room. She brought down what she says is one of the best picture books ever. She believes it should be required reading, and I tend to agree with her. She’s fourteen and equally loves reading/quoting Shakespeare, the latest YA dystopian fiction, and picture books. She’s wonderful. She proce ...more
I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia is as beautifully illustrated as any picture book I've ever seen but the text is geared for older children (as well as adults-at least one, that is). It is divided into several sections, each about a particular illness-sore throat, fever, stomach ache, colds. Then several folk remedies (from pre-historic man to ancient Greece and Rome to Native Americans up to medieval and 19th century) are cited with the question ...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 03, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: independent readers & adults reading with/to some beginning readers
One of my favorite college classes was the History of Medicine in the biology department, so this picture book for children intrigued me.

This book covers some basic ailments: cough, cold, sore throat, wound, stomachache, fever, headache, and every sickness. Nothing like cancer, heart disease, etc. are addressed. There are also some blurbs that talk about ailments in general. Each cure has its origin, its time and place, in parenthesis below it, and for many their relation to today’s remedies ar
Some of the cures practiced throughout history were... disgusting. This clever book offers up three or more historical treatments for different ailments, and asks the reader to guess which of them (if any) actually worked. The next pages address each of the options and reveal the truth. The set-up makes this seem like a game, and readers get lots of interesting--if stomach-churning--historical information.
Jan 25, 2011 Tasha rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Have a symptom? Look it up in this book, but beware! Some of the cures listed just may not work. It’s up to you to try to guess which ones would actually help and which might really hurt. What would help a cough? Caterpillar fungus used in ancient China? Frog soup used in 16th century England? Cherry bark used by ancient Native Americans? Readers turn the page to discover which of the three would help. The reasons behind the use of the cure and then the real results are offered, giving a readers ...more
What a surprisingly good, interesting, educational, and entertaining book! My niece *loved* this non-fiction book about the different remedies that people throughout history tried, and so did I! The book was extremely well written, very well organized, and although it was lengthy, it was presented in a way that held my niece's attention from the first page to the last. The illustrations were great, too. After we were done with this one, my niece eagerly grabbed the book and began reading it out ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Maxbfunk added it
Shelves: nonfiction
Twin Text: Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon. Copyright 2013

Rationale: This book deals with a young boy who discovers, one day, that he has head lice who are there to stay. The artist uses a somewhat cartoony, yet accurate portrayal of the lice, while the author uses the story of a young boy's first time having lice to describe the ways that the little louses can be combatted. Thanks to the various methods of fighting lice, and the general gross out factor to the book, it makes a strong pairing
Iowa City Public Library
This is a fun and informative look at “history’s strangest cures.” Carlyn Beccia presents a variety of ailments as multiple choice questions with old-time remedies as the only options. Each possible answer is then followed with a verdict of whether or not it could cure the ailment along with an explanation. Readers will be pleased to learn that puke weed and skunk oil cannot cure colds, but might be surprised to learn that dirt can cure stomachaches and silver offers protection from the plague. ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
I am ever so glad I did not get sick in medieval times...none of the remedies sound pleasant nor do they appear to work. This book is delightful and fun. I really enjoyed the format with each medical issue given its own chapter and various remedies presented in a quiz format. It was fun guessing which things worked and which didn't. Chicken soup does work for curing colds but puke weed and skunk oil do not. I learned some interesting facts in this book. Some of the cures are downright silly, but ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I actually want to give this a 3 1/2. This is a very interesting book about cures that have been used for various ills throughout the ages and by different cultures and which have worked and not worked. What struck me is that, before the Middle Ages, the Greeks and Romans had some pretty savvy cures, but the silliest and least effective ones seemed to come from medieval times. Did civilization go backward that much during the Dark Ages? The Native Americans seemed to have some most efficacious c ...more
There were definitely some strange cures and remedies in this book. Few I would have ever want to try. I felt a little sick when I read about some of the cures because they were gross. I'm also fairly squeamish, though. But I think children who are interested in medicine or learning more about medicine usage through history might find this book entertaining. Though curious children be warned - they shouldn't try these remedies themselves! I liked the illustrations and I appreciated the extensive ...more
There have been some really strange remedies in the world’s medical history – a lot of them involving frogs, strangely enough. In I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat readers have the opportunity to guess which cures were effective and which were not. Each ailment is presented with several possible cures and on the following pages the answers are given – whether or not the cure worked – with explanations as to how the treatment was administered and why it worked (or may have worked). Amusing i ...more
Katie Lawrence
Nov 04, 2012 Katie Lawrence rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating, disturbing book about medicine throughout time. It was really interesting to learn all about old treatments like sticking a frog down people's throats to cure a sore throat. What is even more incredible is that frog slime is actually used in modern medicines today, so those medieval healers at least partially were on the right track. My students would love this!
Brenda A.
May 15, 2014 Brenda A. rated it really liked it
Shelves: ele-495a
This book was really interesting. I was very intrigued every time I turned the page. It was about remedies from all over the world, from centuries ago. While some of the remedies were super gross other were somre very familiar ones like chicken soup, which is a classic for colds and it does work. This book made my day when I read it, a very interesting book.
A very interesting nonfiction picture book about different myths and cures that doctors used throughout history.

Not a huge fan of the art work, but the text was blocked enough and filled with such interesting information that I didn't mind the art so much.

I plan on booktalking this to 3rd and 4th graders in hopes of pulling in some reluctant readers and boys that really dig gross stuff.
Ms. Chapman
May 31, 2012 Ms. Chapman rated it it was amazing
This is a great non-fiction read-aloud. My Grade 3's loved it! There sure were some gross "cures" for sickness in the past. It was interesting to read how many of our modern medicines were discovered too!
Feb 20, 2012 Nativida rated it really liked it
Big A today said, "mom, you were right, mom's kisses can heal wounds" and proceeded to show me where it stated this in the book...gotta love that!
Nov 28, 2014 Rhayne rated it really liked it
Sometimes kids don’t want to read an informational text which reads like a biography, so as parents and teachers we need to provide children with books which are both entertaining and provide information. One such book is I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: Histories Strangest Cures by Cralyn Beccia. In this book Beccia provides readers with strange reminders from the past in both an interactive and insightful way. Embedding the text with questions and curiosities Beccia evokes a text which ...more
I Feel Better is admittedly a bizarre nonfiction addition to anyone's reading list. It is compelling in both content and format. It is--as the title suggests--a compendium of past medical cures used from Ancient Times up through the 20th Century. The format of the book is the genius of its appeal: (1) it offers a short list of "History's Strangest Cures for..."; (2) poses multiple choice question to the reader: which of these cures do you believe was effective? and (3) proceeds in the following ...more
Kasey Jensen
Sep 12, 2012 Kasey Jensen rated it really liked it
The book I Feel Better with a Frog in my Throat: History’s Strangest Cures was a fabulous and interesting book! This book talks about cures throughout the ages for coughs, colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachaches, fevers, headaches, and every sickness. The author does a great job of piquing the reader’s interest by giving the answers in a multiple choice question format. She then goes on to give more details about each cure, where it came from, odd facts about it, and funny commentary on how th ...more
Jan 29, 2017 Charles rated it it was amazing
For several years, I have been investigating effective medicines that can be found in nature for work I have been doing in studying how civilization could be restored in the event of a planet-wide catastrophe. Yet, there were two natural medicines in this book that I had not encountered.
The first was the tea made from boiled cherry bark and the second was a literal frog in your throat. When cherry bark is boiled, hydrocyanic acid is released and that stops coughing. In fact it is an ingredien
Sep 24, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Are you feeling sick? I have just the thing for you. I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures! It won't be a problem if you have a sour throat, swelling in your feet, even a headache this book has a cure.

I Fell Better with a Frog in My Throat was an increadable gross but funny book. Children grades 3 through 6 will greatly enjoy the gross but helpfull ways to cure sickness such as a sour throat. I found this funny, helpful, and really gross but would read it over and ov
Jan 03, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
Does skunk oil cure a common cold? Can an earthworm necklace cure a sore throat? Will leeches cure a fever? This book looks at the various cures people have tried throughout the ages and tells you if they actually worked or not. Each section begins with a chance for you to guess which "cures" were effective and which were worthless. Which of these would be best to cure a cough--caterpillar fungus, frog soup, or cherry bark? Take your best guess, then read to find out if you were right. You may b ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Tiffany rated it really liked it
See my full review here:

Don't reach for a bandaid the next time you get a cut, reach for some spider webs instead. And forget cough syrup, just wear a necklace of worms! History is full of strange cures, some of which are still being researched today, and all of which are gross enough to hold any young readers attention. Each ailment is presented as a quiz: which of these wacky, disgusting cures actually worked? This format allows for greater interaction
Aug 05, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
Cute, funny, gross; great read aloud for slightly older kids. This straight-to-the-point non fiction book presents various bizarre "cures" used for different kinds of illnesses throughout history. It is designed so that readers are presented with an ailment and a choice of cures, citing the location and time period of the cure (ie: "Ancient Egypt" or "Medieval Europe"). Wonderful, colorful illustrations give the info a playful feeling. The reader is told to guess which cure actually works. Turn ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book, a nominee for the 2012-13 South Carolina Children's Book Award, will definitely be a hit with my students, especially when I tell them that it's kind of gross and shouldn't be read around lunchtime.

I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat presents some strange cures for coughs, colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachaches, fevers, headaches, and general cures. Some of them are completely ridiculous (unicorn horn, mummy dust, etc.), but I was surprised by how many of these historic cures ar
Nov 03, 2013 Shelli rated it really liked it
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 treatme ...more
Tara Crump
Mar 11, 2014 Tara Crump rated it really liked it
The book has students guess which methods used throughout history to treat common ailments actually work. It gives the origin of the remedy and the implications it has on modern medicine. I could see this book being very engaging for young readers considering how bizarre some of the cures would be to them; for example, drilling a hole in someone's forehead, sneaking a frog in someone's soup, or using pukeweed to clear the toxins from the body. I think this book might fit into a health and wellne ...more
Deborah Dempsey
May 28, 2011 Deborah Dempsey rated it really liked it
What a wonderful way to blend history, science, medicine and a little bit of quackery for kids (although I did buy the book for myself). If your children (or you) have ever wondered how colds or wounds were healed way back when - before washing hands was mandatory - then this is the book for you. If you have ever wondered what throwing on a muster plaster, rolling around in leeches or eating millipedes could do for you then this is the book to find out. This book is colorful, easy to read and ha ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book about many of the strangest cures that have been used throughout history for various ailments. It is a colorful picture book, with just a hint of humor to keep the subject from becoming too dry. Each ailment is described and then a few historic cures are listed. The reader can guess which of the cures might have indeed been helpful. The following pages discuss each cure and why it did or did not work. This book would be great for a nonfiction program - and it is just a ...more
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Beccia attended the University of Massachusetts on a 4-year art scholarship and graduated in 1995. She spent the next 10 years working as a designer and animator before returning to her first love of illustration.

In 2005, Beccia was the Grand Prize Portfolio Winner in the Society of Children's Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) portfolio exhibition. In 2006, she was awarded a certificate of merit
More about Carlyn Beccia...

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