Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003) is an interesting volume. The poems and superstitions cover cats, garlic, hats, potatoes, salt and wood and 11 more. At the end, Wong includes brief explanations of each of the superstitions, and her author's note explains how her interest in the subject developed. She also mentions a reference work for anyone who is interested in further study of superstition.
Here's her poem called "Hair":
Eat the crust of fresh baked bread
for curly hair upon your head--
brush, don't comb, your hair at night,
and you won't hear a nasty fight--
Tuesday is your haircut day
if you want your luck to stay--
stand bareheaded in the rain
to cure a baldness in the brain.
Julie Paschkis's watercolor magical illustrations include people of many races and ethnicities. This would be a fabulous book for classroom use--for example, as a creative writing exercise, have the child pick a couplet from the poem above and write a story or poem inspired by that aspect of hair superstition.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is found at Some Novel Ideas.