Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: I Feel Better with a Frog in my Throat

Any book that opens with a warning to not eat lunch while you're reading it is my kind of book. And the fact that it also includes lore from ancient and medieval history? Awe. Some.

Author-illustrator Carlyn Beccia's book, I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures, takes you on a fun and fascinating medical mystery tour.  My kids are too old for a book like this (sniff), but they would have loved the format: bright, colorful illustrations highlighting real historical "cures" that range from the outrageous to the bizarre.  The reader is then encouraged to select the one that actually worked.

The answers are both surprising and entertaining. Plus, they offer great kid-conversation starters such as
--why might they have believed that eating frog soup would cure a sore throat? Who wants to test whether drinking a glass of water with fifty millipedes will cure a tummy ache?

But really, what I loved best about the book were the illustrations. Every single page is filled with something that is bound to make you laugh or smile--whether from the poor patients' facial expressions or the actual "demonstrations" of the so-called cures.

Beccia clearly has done her research, even including a bibliography for those kids inspired to pursue the, I mean, the fascinating history of medical cures. What a great way to inspire kids to love both history AND science!

For more on Carlyn's work, visit:

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