Pregnancy and childbirth remains a mystical and magical time, characterised by feelings of hope, uncertainty and worry. No matter how many scientific innovations come along, there’s still room for home-grown beliefs and traditions handed down through the family. Couples buying a pram may still ask for it to be delivered after the birth, and some grandparents will shrink from tickling the baby’s feet in case it grows up to have a stammer. Monday’s Child is Fair of Face gathers together these beliefs and customs, explaining how and why they arose, in which parts of the country they have been particularly popular, and to what extent they survive today. Arranged thematically, it’s the perfect book to dip into, and its mixture of familiar, unfamiliar and frankly bizarre beliefs makes for compelling reading.