Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Black Cats & Four-Leaf Clovers: Origins of Old Wives' Tales and Superstitions in Our Everyday Lives by Harry Oliver

(pb; 2006, 2007: nonfiction. Illustrations by Mike Mosedale. Originally published in Great Britain as Black Cats and April Fools, hence the above cover.)

From the back cover:

". . . Harry Oliver delves into the stories behind the traditions and superstitions that permeate our everyday lives, unearthing the fascinating histories of these weird and wonderful notions. So before you search for any more four-leaf clovers, worry about the next Friday the thirteenth, or avoid walking under any ladders, dip into this amazing tome and discover:

"Why breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck.

"The best day of the week to ask for a favor.

"Why you should never jump over a child in Turkey."


Black is a tightly-written, adult- and kid-friendly introduction to the world of superstitions, with its concise, entertaining and sometimes intriguing chronicling of often strange beliefs, as well -- when possible -- the reasons that may have brought about these beliefs. Sporting a touch of light humor, this is a worthwhile purchase if you are new to the subject or looking for something fun to help you pass an hour or two.

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