Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Knock on Wood

Knock on Wood

Fall 2003 Poetry
Ages: 7 - 10 yrs.
Author: Janet S Wong
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
ISBN: 0689855125
Hardcover Price: $17.95
Review:
We all know not to open umbrellas in the house, but have you heard that "nasty" ghosts hide under umbrellas during storms, or that spilled salt is "magic flung wild"? In this busily illustrated book of free verse poetry, Janet S. Wong examines seventeen superstitions, ranging from black cats and new hats to ladders and ladybugs. Following the poems is an author's note and a two-page guide to the superstitions covered, giving a bit of fascinating insight into the cultural and historical contexts of these beliefs. For instance, one legend regarding the magic of clover says that Eve grabbed a handful during her eviction from Paradise. Some of Wong's poems are smoother than others, with "cat" and "wood" among the standouts, but Julie Paschkis' intricate paintings more than make up for a few awkward spots in the text.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2003 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.


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