Friday, May 4, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures
Author/Illustrator: Carlyn Beccia
Publisher/Date: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/ 2010
Genre/Audience: Nonfiction/Grades 1-4

Themes: history, medicine

Opening: "Instructions for use:
1. Some cures in this book are gross.  Please don't eat lunch while reading."

Synopsis: From Booklist -
Author-illustrator Beccia has gathered some of history’s strangest cures for what ails you. Some of these are silly (puppy kisses), some are sticky (spider webs), some are stinky (skunk oil), and some are sweetly sentimental (a mother’s kisses). Do any of them work? You bet, and part of the fun is guessing which ones (don’t you dare turn to the page where the answers are revealed). Arranged by malady (coughs, colds, fevers, etc.), each section is typically introduced by three possible cures, with wounds getting nine choices. The pages that follow reveal which cures work, why, and when and where they might have originated. 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. Grades 1-4. --Michael Cart

Why I Love This Book
The concept, organization, and illustrations are superb.  Not to mention interesting and educational.  If you have ever wondered about the origin of "frog in my throat", read this book!

Math: Sort the cures by origin.  Create a graph for which cures worked and which didn't.

Family Research: Ask your parents and grandparents is there were any unusual ways to treat colds, hiccups, etc. when they were kids.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. Wow! I would totally enjoy this one. The title does a great job of drawing me in. It's so clever and fun. Oh, how I wish every library had every book! (Then again, maybe not...) Thank you for the introduction. I especially love the idea for a math lesson. Could be a great intro to a health unit/class for 5th or 6th grade.

  2. What a cool idea for a book! This sounds interesting, informative and fun, and I love your activities! Thanks so much for sharing - I'll have to look for this one!

  3. Oo I met Carlyn Beccia last year! This looks like some gripping, gross non-fiction for kids, what a super choice! I love these sorts of books of facts.

  4. Very interesting! I love reading about medical "science" of bygone days. This sounds as though it would be fascinating for kids -- and adults as well.

  5. This book looks funny, silly, gross, and much more things! I would love to hear of some of the cures in the olden days and why this is that and why that is this. ;)

  6. Thanks for adding this to PPBF. I had heard quite a bit about this book as it won best non-fiction Picture Book for the Cybil Awards this past year. I liked your activity ideas, I am partial for anything related to math.


  7. Boys would love this gross book. This one sounds quite unique. Great share. Liked our activities. I remember old remedies my grandmother used.