I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat
History's Strangest Cures
By Carlyn Beccia
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780547225708, 48pp.)
Publication Date: October 2010
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.
Carlyn Beccia made her picture book debut with the captivating Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? The idea for The Raucous Royals, her second book, came after a trip to Paris: "I went to Versailles," she writes, "and discovered that Marie Antoinette never said her infamous line 'Let them eat cake.' Then I remembered also believing that Anne Boleyn had six fingers. After much digging, I discovered that one of her biographers after her death said she had an extra nail. A nail isn't a finger. That discovery led to another rumor and then another . . ." Besides painting, drawing, and researching royalty, Carlyn enjoyssalsa dancing, horseback riding, and raucous games of badminton with her husband. She lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
"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."—Kirkus Reviews
"Beccia's droll text is greatly enhanced by her witty single- and double-page illustrations, filled with humorous details. Boys will especially enjoy the ickier cures (anyone for urine drinking?), while teachers and librarians will welcome the careful research and the useful appended bibliography."—Booklist
"Digital mixed-media color illustrations and manageable blocks of text invite reluctant readers to browse this high-interest title."—School Library Journal