I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat

History's Strangest Cures
48p. 978-0-54722-570-8.
Gr 3-6 From chicken soup, honey, and mother's kisses to frog soup, mummy powder, and leeches, Beccia highlights some unusual cures for common illnesses that have been practiced throughout history. Organized by coughs, colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachaches, fever, headaches, and other sicknesses, the book first presents the cures and then challenges readers to guess which methods have been effective. In the ensuing pages, she describes the philosophy behind each treatment and notes its utility. While grounded in science, Beccia takes a holistic view, leading to some surprising results. Though the application of mummy powder to wounds may actually have spread more disease, bleeding may have sometimes helped by starving staph infections of iron. The "frog slime" involved in the titular cure is now used in some modern medications, and mother's kisses are an example of the beneficial power of placebos. Digital mixed-media color illustrations and manageable blocks of text invite reluctant readers to browse this high-interest title. While the figures are often awkwardly composed, their expressions as they confront each unpalatable cure are highly entertaining. In comparison, Richard Platt's "Doctors Did What?!"(Two-Can, 2006) covers slightly more ground through a time line approach, but the tone is sarcastic and the use of photos makes for a more appalling read. Beccia's approachable introduction is more suitable for younger readers and all those with sensitive stomachs.-"Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
Tongue-in-cheek warnings to readers ("Some cures in this book are gross") set the tone for this look at long-ago remedies for eight common complaints (cough, fever, etc.). For each, an introductory page presents three potential cures, challenging readers to decide which was real; a page turn reveals the answer. Understated caricature illustrations reflect the volume's humor. Bib.

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