What is a fool’s paradise? Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘a state of delusory happiness.’ You know, that state many of us go into to either escape the harsh realities or sometimes to ignore them. Fiction and the entertainment industry offers us venues to escape into illusions in their own way. For the time we are lost in the book or the movie, it is kind of a fool’s paradise (right?!).
Anyway, apparently, July 13th is Fool’s Paradise Day and I will talk about it some more later in the post. But first… books!
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No Fool’s Paradise Here (Maybe a Little!?!)
Given today’s books are a mix of fiction and nonfiction (mostly), there is of course a little bit of fantasy and escape
Disclaimer: Thanks to the publishers and to Edelweiss for the digital review copies for each of the books below. These are my honest opinions of the books.
Kariba by Daniel Clarke, James Clarke, and Daniel Snaddon (Juvenile Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Fairy Tales, Folklore, Legends | 10 – 14 years, and up | Catalyst Press | August 1, 2023)
The daughter of a river god, raised by a human father and bound to a tragic destiny. An African fantasy-adventure graphic novel inspired by the mythology of the Zambezi River and the history of the Kariba Dam, one of the largest dams ever constructed.
My Quick Thoughts
I love everything about this book. Kariba is gorgeous – in its graphics and the story. It is a stunning meld of mythology and reality, ecology and history, family and friendship, ecology and history, colonialism and displacement, feminism and so much more. I could go on about how this book has everything from pirates to a strong female protagonist; from magic to mythology; and then some! The storyline will appeal to many; those who love history, mythology, the Marvel Universe (specifically Black Panther), conservation, colonialism, a strong female character, and well, anyone.
The layout took me back to memories of reading Tintin and Asterix comics as well as other beloved comics from my childhood. And the artwork mirrors the storyline in colors and clarity and emotions. The stunning details transport readers to a beautiful world (in every aspect of it, be it the real one or the fantastical one!)
Be sure to get it when you can… a wonderful addition to every library (home or otherwise)
Kate’s Light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse by Elizabeth Spires and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully (Children’s Historical Biographies | Margaret Ferguson Books | January 17, 2023))
The heroic true story of one of the Eastern seaboard’s first woman lighthouse keepers.
My Quick Thoughts
Once again, at the risk of repeating myself (on my blog), the reason why I absolutely adore and devour picture book biographies! I learn about people and places I had no idea of before I read these books, and it is always mind-opening. The beautiful illustrations and the honest narrative with details take readers back to the life led by the amazing Kate Walker.
Keeping Those Words in Mind
Keeping Those Words in Mind: How Language Creates Meaning by Max Louwerse (Linguistics | Prometheus | July 15, 2021)
By examining how our brains process language and find patterns, the intricacies of the language system itself, and even scientific breakthroughs in computer science and artificial intelligence, Keeping Those Words in Mind brings a brand new and interdisciplinary explanation for our ability to extract meaning from language.
My Quick Thoughts
As someone who is always fascinated with words, language, and the learning of them, this book immediately appealed to me. In addition, I am taking a course in General Psychology at a local community college currently, and that added to the appeal of reading it right now.
It is a current read for me, and I am loving every word and chapter of it so far!! So much to learn and enjoy and relish still, and I am a happy reader right now!
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist (Series)
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist (Series) | Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Ecology by Liz Lee Heinecke and illustrated by Kelly Anne Dalton | Math by Rebecca Rapoport and Allanna Chung; edited by Liz Lee Heinecke with illustrations by Kelly Anne Dalton (Children’s Nonfiction | 7 – 12 years, and up | Quarry Books)
Description and Links
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist series, brings various subjects to life through biography and creative engagement. Each book follows a similar format as below.
Each one offers a series of snapshots of people famous for their work with the study areas, from ancient history through today. The included labs tells the illustrated story of that person along with some background about the importance of their work, and a description of where it is still being used or reflected in today’s world.
A step-by-step experiment paired with each story offers kids a hands-on opportunity for exploring concepts the featured person/people pursued, or are working on today. Experiments range from very simple projects using materials you probably already have on hand, to more complicated ones that may require a few inexpensive items you can purchase online.
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist Series
- Chemistry for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Chemists, Past and Present
- Biology for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Biologists, Past and Present
- Physics for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Physicists, Past and Present
- Math for Kids: Fun Math Games and Activities Inspired by Awesome Mathematicians, Past and Present
- Ecology for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Ecologists, Past and Present
Each of these is a rich and fun resource to learn the subject matter.
On the one side, I have discovered so many people in these fields who I did not know of before. In addition, I learned lots more about others I had heard of earlier.
On the other, there is the experiment/activity/fun aspect of these books. With a variety of labs and activities across the books that include science experiments (from basic ones to some a little more complicated), games, art, and more, these books make learning math and science totally effortless and always enjoyable! With detailed information that includes a materials list, step-by-step instructions, bonus activities, the science/math/other concept behind the activity, and other facts, the “lab” aspect of the books are amazing.
Overall, a must have for any young readers wanting to learn more about these, for classrooms everywhere, and great for keeping kids occupied during those holidays in a productive way!
All About a Fool’s Paradise
What It Means
Like I mentioned at the start of this post, a fool’s paradise is a state of delusion or ignorance. It’s when someone ignores reality and believes in false happiness. The person living in a fool’s paradise is many a time foolishly optimistic about their situation. It might be that they are indulging in wishful thinking. Or maybe refusing to face reality, leading to a temporary or illusory sense of happiness.
The Story Behind the Phrase
This expression itself originated in the 1400s when it first appeared in a collection of letters from William Paston in the below sentence.
- I wold not be in a folis paradyce.
Later, the Bard (well, of course) made it more popular when he used it in Romeo and Juliet!
“Pray you, sir, a word:
and as I told you, my young lady bade me inquire you
out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself:
but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into
a fool’s paradise, as they say, it were a very gross
kind of behavior, as they say: for the gentlewoman
is young; and, therefore, if you should deal double
with her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered
to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing.”
Why Fool’s Paradise Day?
If a fool’s paradise is all about delusions and ignoring realities, then why a day to celebrate it? The idea of this day arises from using it as a day to try to find happiness in our imagined paradise in the middle of all the chaos, the stresses, and pressure of the real world.
The Power of a Fool’s Paradise
In difficult times, finding comfort becomes crucial. A fool’s paradise can rescue us for a little while by allowing us to temporarily escape reality and immerse ourselves in imagination. If we employ this concept well and wisely, we can reap cool benefits including
- Emotional Respite. A fool’s paradise offers a break from daily stresses, providing emotional relief and balance.
- Visualization and Affirmations. In our fool’s paradise, we can imagine having achieved all our goals! Even imagined success can breed itself! Such imagination is sure to foster positive thinking and renewing our determination to move forward in the real world. It can also help us look at problems with a new perspective and face them head on.
- Self-Discovery and Creativity. A fool’s paradise unlocks hidden talents, innovative ideas, and personal growth opportunities.
Balancing Reality and Imagination
But remember, striking a balance between imagination and reality is important. Temporarily escape to uplift your spirits and to reap all those benefits I mentioned before, but don’t forget to engage with life’s challenges and responsibilities.
So go ahead and embrace the healing power of a fool’s paradise by harnessing your imagination. Use mindful escapes in nature walks, books, movies, and more to find your temporary paradise, and return rejuvenated and empowered to fight your battles in real life.
All Those Other Fool’s Paradise -s!
I realized that there are so many books, movies, songs, and etcs titled ‘Fool’s Paradise’ once I started writing this post! Here are a few for your entertainment.
- A new movie with this title that came out earlier this year (that I had no idea of until this post) starring an amazing cast including Ray Liotta, Ken Jeong, Katie Beckinsale, Jason Sudeikis, Adrien Brody, and more!! I want to watch it now and plan to (it is on Amazon Prime)
- It is book 19 in a 21-book mystery series. Robert B. Parker’s Fool’s Paradise (A Jesse Stone Novel Book 19) by Mike Lupica.
- So many romances with this name! A Harlequin Romance of this title by Ann Cooper, and too many others to list here.
- There are older movies and plays as well with this title. One of the first known is A Fool’s Paradise: An Original Play in Three Acts by Sydney Grundy
- And then the songs, like this one by Charles Brown (it is beautiful!) or the one below
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, what are your thoughts on this post overall? As always, my questions to you: have you read any of the books? If 👍🏻, your thoughts on them? If not, which one would you pick first? Any similar recommendations for me? And what are your thoughts about the fool’s paradise?