I have a favorite memory when son #1 was small. He stood at a fountain with a penny in his hand and called at the top of his lungs ”I wish my dad would be a good man”. Now I have to say that I am not sure where he got the idea for the wish from and in defense of my husband, he is a very good man. But the tradition of wishes is something that has always interested me. Whether it’s blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, seeing a shooting star at night, tossing a coin into a wishing well or breaking the wishbone of a cooked turkey. Some people believe such wishes can only come true if you keep them a secret from other people.
- Blowing on a dandelion (Ireland)
- Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake (America)
Most were new to me, including:
- Making a wish when you see a striped weasel (South Africa)
- Racing kites through a graveyard (Guatemala)
- Placing peacock feathers in school books (India)
Elisa Kleven’s illustrations were bright and whimsical a great addition to the traditions. The inclusion of some hidden lucky symbols add an interactive element to the book.
This would be a great book for elementary school teachers to use for a multi-cultural lesson and you could even have the children try some the the traditions themselves.
Writing on the Sidewalk