cover image Don't Sing Before Breakfast, Don't Sleep in the Moonlight: Everyday Superstitions and How They Began

Don't Sing Before Breakfast, Don't Sleep in the Moonlight: Everyday Superstitions and How They Began

Lila Perl / Author, Erika Weiihs / Illustrator Clarion Books $

Perl and Weihs, whose Blue Monday and Friday the Thirteenth was an excellent assemblage of the facts and fictions surrounding the days of the week, have put similar care into this book. The author begins at sun-up and concludes at bedtime, listing almost everything that can go wrong or right, depending on certain foreshadowing actions. There are several instances that will allow evil spirits to leap into the body or give them power over human beings: leaving fingernail clippings around, crossing the knife and fork at the dinner table, sneezing and yawning, just to name a few. The writing is smooth, the tone humorous, and Weihs's graceful pictures show some of the quirkier aspects of superstition and self-induced fear. An offering to be enjoyed with a grain of garlic salt and a brisk ``gesundheit.'' Ages 8-11. (April)