Happy April Fool’s Day Everyone!
The month of April is always heralded in with April Fool’s Day. It’s a day a playing practical jokes and pranks on others, who of course are fools for falling for the jokes. The beginnings of this prankster’s holiday may have started with the Roman festival of Hilaria, followed many years later by the medieval Feast of Fools. The day we celebrate today, may have been set in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), when he dated a marriage for March thirty days and two, which readers mistook as March 32nd. In his story Chanticleer, the rooster was tricked by a fox.
In 1959, Geoffery Chaucer won the Caldecott Award for Barbara Cooney’s Chanticleer and the Fox, based on Chaucer’s original tale, making this a true April Fool’s picture book.
In a much more recent picture book, Susanna Leonard Hill and Jeffrey Ebbeler bring us a partner to Punxsutawney Phyllis, the young groundhog who dreams of being the next Punxsutawney Phil – weather predictor. With her powers of prediction, Phyllis warns the community of an upcoming blizzard in April Fool, Phyllis! As expected, no one believes her. The April Fool’s Treasure Hunt goes on as planned, and Phyllis has to rescue her groundhog friends in the middle of the blizzard. Of course, she gets the last laugh when she does fool them all by claiming the treasure box at the end of the hunt is empty.