• Why are Americans superstitious about two-dollar bills?
• Why do we have twelve months in a year instead of ten, or six, or even twenty?
• Why do we celebrate foolishness on the first day of April?
• Why is yawning contagious?
• Why is the number thirteen considered to be unlucky in so many different cultures?
The A to Z of Everyday Things tells the surprising stories behind twenty-six seemingly ordinary objects and activities. From calendars and money to tulips and sideburns, this book uses commonplace items to explore the rich but often overlooked cultural history of our everyday lives. In the end, The A to Z of Everyday Things offers us a picture of modern life and how we got here in a funny, quirky, and highly readable form.
Janice Weaver has been working with books all her life – first as an editor, and now as a writer. Her first book, Building America, was named a Notable Book by the International Reading Association and also appeared on the New York Public Library’s 2002 Books for the Teenage List. Her second book, From Head to Toe, was published in the fall of 2003 to equal acclaim.
Francis Blake has been an illustrator for as long as he can remember, and his artwork appears in magazines, books, and advertising campaigns across North America, Europe, and the Far East. His original paintings and drawings are in private collections as far apart as Melbourne, Toronto, and Wigan. Francis Blake lives in London, England with an increasingly demanding and occasionally very bad-tempered cat.