Friday, July 13, 2012

It's All About The Number

Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt apparently suffered from triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13)? According to The Huffington Post he refused to travel on the 13th day of any month and would not host a dinner party with 13 guests. Here's a new word I had not heard of  paraskavedekatriaphobia which means fear of Friday the 13th
Today is the third of three Fridays the 13th that fall in the calendar 2012: Since April, May and July all start on a Sunday, this means the 13th day falls on a Friday. And for the first time since 1984, those three Friday the 13ths — Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13 — are exactly 13 weeks apart, not good news for triskaidekaphobics, who have a fear of the number 13.
One psychotherapist, who specializes in the treatment of phobias, asserts some 17-21 million Americans fear Friday the 13th. So if you are a bit superstitious you might find comfort in these words: To avoid bad luck on Friday the 13th there are a number of things you can do to ward off fate. Touch wood, cross your fingers, avoid black cats, don't walk under ladders, do not break a mirror and don't step on cracks on the sidewalk.
But I say reverse the thinking... HAVE A 
Ashley Bryan July 13th, 1923
Ashley Bryan is a children's author and illustrator of over 30 children's books. He was the first African American to publish a children's book as an author and illustrator in 1962. It is interesting to note that he did not get published till he was forty and his last book  Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song won a Golden Kite Award  in 2010 for non-fiction. In 2003 when he was nearly 80 still writing and drawing he was asked about his indefatigable energy he said, "I don't really understand what one means by years. I approach everything as if I have just begun. I am always discovering a new world and always have the urge to keep developing . Each time I finish something, I can't wait to start again and do something even better". 
What a great inspiring can do attitude he has about life.
Many of his book are retelling of folktales from Africa, India and France.
I give this book a high recommendation for the 4-8 age group with its stunning collage illustrations  using vibrant colors. The book illustrates three familiar Negro spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine", "When The Saints Go Marching In" and "He's Got The Whole Worlds In his Hand." 
The book is Bryan's  interpretation of the lyrics to these songs and the history behind them. 

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