You'll find the Poetry Friday roundup, i.e., links to more poetry talk in the kidlitosphere today, at The Stenhouse Blog.
For today's Poetry Friday entry, I'd like to tell you about a book that Junior and I are enjoying: Janet S. Wong's Knock on Wood: Poems About Superstitions. I have soft spot for books, like this one, that start up a conversation between the people reading it. That's my hope for all children's books, really.
Junior's age, 8, is a fine one for talking about
superstitions [note: 10 is still good, too!]; he's heard of a few that Wong addresses in the seventeen
short poems. With a whiff of mystery and magic, the subjects include
four-leaf clovers, horseshoes, broken mirrors, and ladders, not to mention Friday the 13th. Because he
didn't know about all of them, Junior was eager to read the glossary
where the poet gives a little background on each superstition. For
instance, in reference to black cats, Wong notes that they were
"revered in ancient Egypt, but feared in medieval Europe." Since we're
feline aficionados, we decided we'd rather be like the ancient
Egyptians. The poem "Cat" begins "Look out for her, the black cat./Walk
backward/when she crosses your path/if you fear the magic she brings/as
she travels through your time." Julie Paschkis's typically lush and
beautiful illustrations accompany the poems, and provide additional
things to discuss.