Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions

lucky horseshoe, 4 leaf clover, black cat, itchy ears, good luck and more

Parents’ Choice Recommended Book

Riverbank Review – Books of Distinction Finalist

This book is the one that was “the most fun to write.” I explain to students that research for this book usually takes the form of book research and Internet research, but for this book I did a third kind of research: interviewing people. I encourage children to ask their relatives and neighbors, especially those from other countries, to share their wackiest superstitions, too. We can have meaningful conversations and build community with a question as simple as “What was good luck to you, when you were a child?”

Published by Simon & Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
ISBN 9780689855122

“Itchy ears, broken mirrors, and hats worn backward join wood spirits, ghosts, and of course black cats in this imaginative exploration of common and lesser-known superstitions. . . . Humor, satire, subplots, historic references, and decorative and surreal elements abound in artful profusion. There is much to ponder in both words and pictures.”
School Library Journal

“[C]hildren will find the subjects compelling, and many of the poems have a sly humor and haunting, lyrical imagery. Paschkis’ watercolors are exceptional. Wild patterns that mimic folk-art designs explode from the spreads with whimsical images that children will want to view over and over again. Filled with mystery, magic, and hidden worlds, these are poems to liven up language arts classes and to spark discussions about personal beliefs. Brief prose explanations about the superstitions close the book.” —Booklist

itchy ears superstition