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I FEEL BETTER WITH A FROG IN MY THROAT by Carlyn Beccia

I FEEL BETTER WITH A FROG IN MY THROAT

History's Strangest Cures

By Carlyn Beccia (Author) , Carlyn Beccia (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-22570-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

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)