Philip and the Superstition Kid



Philip and Emery are forced to spend time with Leon, Emery's monumentally unlucky cousin, but when Leon's perpetual bad luck starts rubbing off on Philip and Emery, they decide to take drastic action!

Suddenly, the boys heard a scream from outside. They ran to Emery’s window and were shocked to see Leon running along the sidewalk at top speed.    

“What’s he doing?” Philip asked softly.    

“Who knows?” Emery said disgustedly, lifting the screen so he and Philip could lean out and watch Leon.    

When Leon reached the corner, he paused, turned, and ran back toward them just a fast as he could.    

“Is he holding his nose? I think he’s holding his nose. He is holding his nose,” Philip noticed in amazement.    

“Maybe he pooped his pants,” Emery suggested.    

Philip ignored Emery. “There he goes.”    

Leon tore past the window, his fingers still pinching his nose. The boys watched Leon pause at the corner, cross the street and start running down the other sidewalk.    

“Call him,” Philip suggested.    

When Leon drew near, Emery shouted, “Hey, Leon. What are you doing?”    

Leon turned his head and saw his friends. He switched the hand he was holding his nose with and waved the other hand at the two boys. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” he cried as he kept going.    

Philip and Emery watched Leon’s travels as if they were hypnotized. When Leon got to the corner, he crossed to Emery’s side of the street and started running again.    

“Here he comes,” said Philip.    

“Leon,” Emery cried again.    

This time Leon pulled to a halt, breathing hard.    

“What are you doing, Leon?” Emery called down.    

“I saw a man walking with a limp. He really had a limp. He went right past me. Up and down; up and down. Limp, limp, limp.”    

“Leon, let go of your nose,” Emery ordered. “You sound stupid.”    

“I can’t. I can’t. I saw a man walking with a limp.”    

“What’s that got to do with anything?” Emery demanded.    

“If you see a man with a limp, you get bad luck unless you hold your nose until you see a dog. I can’t find a dog. I was just having good luck and now this,” Leon cried in his twangy, nose-holding voice. “Ahhhhhhhhh.” And off he charged, looking for a dog.


Author John Paulits' characters walk a fine line between honesty and humor in this second children's story about Philip. Philip and the Superstition Kid has Philip and Emery hatching all sorts of plots to keep Emery's cousin out of their way--coincidentally meaning he's always in Emery's mother's way. But it's one thing to laugh at someone else's bad luck, and quite another to see it rubbing off on you. Soon their plots are coming back to haunt them and troubles abound. Of course, with twin babies, Emery's mother has more than enough troubles of her own to cope with, and the portrayal of parents at the end of their tether is sweet and generous--genuine enough to glide past a child while adult readers will squirm and smile with sympathy. Rational Philip, fairly rational Emery, mostly irrational Leon--in the end they're all kids, all zany, all fun, and that's as it should be.


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