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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 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  99 reviews
It wasn’t too long ago that people tried all sorts of things to helpsick people feel better. They tried wild thingslike 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 med
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 28th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 25th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 626)
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Stephanie Swint
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
Jun 08, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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
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
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
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
Brenda A.
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.
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!
Ms. Chapman
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!
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!
Tara Crump
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
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
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
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
Jul 04, 2012 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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

I love the layout of this book. Each chapter starts with a little quiz inviting readers to guess whether or not specific old cures worked. Then each technique gets a paragraph that conversationally explains why it did or did not work. I love that the book opens with chicken soup and closes with another common cure still used in 2014. It's gross enough to keep a kid's attention without giving him nightmares.
Lisa Wolf
A funny, occasionally gross, and super-informative look at a variety of cures from different times in history, covering everything from leeches to mummy powder and puppy saliva. There's a good amount of learning sneaked in amidst the fun. I had a blast reading this illustrated book with my family -- but I wouldn't be embarrassed to read it on my own either. Highly recommended for older elementary age kids and up.
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
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
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
***Read as part of the Chicago Public Schools Dept. of Libraries' Battle of the Books 2014.***

Such a fun text for a middle grades reading challenge, tons of trivia to work with.
Mrs. Wynn
Kids are fascinated by ancient cures for a variety of physical ailments. And believe me, some of the attempts for cures are quite disgusting! Not for the faint-of-heart! Gross!!!! :-)
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
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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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