of Paradise Found
Written by Karen Amanda Toulon
Illustrated by Eric Rhinehart
A journey of discovery:
of self, of another, and of an island—which has a personality all its own.
A woman and a man meet on the beach in the Caribbean. That chance encounter turns into a journey of self discovery, relationship building and island exploration.
Accompanied by beautifully rendered watercolour paintings, there will be stunning visual details to consider. Deep sea dives. Primordial rainforests. Night witches. Dawn carnivals.
He learns about the ingredients in a national dish and where runaway slaves hid.
She learns he has a scar and a wicked smile.
But what you won't learn are their names. Or ages. Countries of origin. Physical descriptions. Professions. Past lives. Political leanings.
There will be no interruptions by work deadlines, smart phones, insistent technologies and other inconsolable distractions.
The woman wonders at one point "Where is this going?" and we are grateful that we are along for the ride.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Interview: Here and Now with Sandra Bookman watch now
WABC - New York
“Reading The ABCs of Paradise Found feels like a nostalgic afternoon going through your childhood photo albums; this story allows you the space and time to reflect on the specific moments in life that become memories. Fueled with the spirit of the Caribbean, Karen Amanda Toulon’s diction and Eric Rhinehart’s illustrations harmonize in a beautiful, soothing symphony. Through the alphabet, Toulon gives us a guide to tracking the evolution of this grounded, contemplative meditation on life, relationships, identity, and the passage of time.”
“Karen Toulon has written a poetic tribute to French Caribbean culture, and the vagaries of new relationships. Eric Rhinehart’s paintings invoke the color palette and culture of the islands so well you can swim in them. The ABCs of Paradise Found is a lyrical and romantic tribute.”
Fred W. Friendly Professor of Media and Society, Columbia University
“I found myself absorbed in the unfolding of every letter, anticipating what would come next. This is a beautiful collaboration, a marriage of Karen’s intimate personal chronicles and Eric’s brush, which capture in each scene a sense of festivity, myth and memories of presence. A gift for those who only know the Caribbean from a distance as well as those who know it like yesterday.”
Creative Arts Workshop
“Like all art, this book is a journey of discovery. With the familiar rhythms of an ABC book and a lush tropical setting, it conveys the mysterious magic of adult love and the wonder of seeing a cherished place through the eyes of a lover. A perfect marriage of image and text, Rhinehart’s luminous paintings and Toulon’s poetic prose reveal how paradise can be found in a person as well as a place.”
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
“The lagoons and palm-fringed beaches in Karen Amanda Toulon’s The ABCs of Paradise Found speak of the fluid and sensual rhythms of island culture, mythology, and love. Eric Rhinehart’s bespoke illustrations have the influence of many: Gauguin, Bernard, Matisse. With extraordinary craftsmanship, he captures the dazzling beauty of people and places, both seen and unseen, with an expressive visual language of intense color that is uniquely his own.”
“This book is about a journey—where one person remembers and the other discovers the indigenous beauty of Dominica. The vivid watercolors and alluring prose transport us into a Caribbean Island full of history, culture and mystique that a couple absorbs together, while rediscovering each other along the way.”
Author, Enemies in Love: A German POW, A Black Nurse
and an Unlikely Romance
“The stories conveyed took me down memory lane growing up on a Caribbean Island. From the vibrant colors, to the layers of colloquial terms used by our ancestors that stirred up such excitement and adventure that you will only experience in Paradise. Thank you for sharing such moments, as a certified island gal, this book will be on my shelf to share with generations to come!”
Erin E. Brown,
International Spokesperson & Advocate
University of the Bahamas, Disability & Inclusion
“The ABCs of Paradise Found is a delightful read and a visual treat! Part love story, part travel guide, readers are led on a sensory-filled tour of Dominica through this charming adult storybook. Rhinehart’s luminous and inviting illustrations wonderfully convey the essence of Toulon’s seductive prose.”
Director, MW Gallery
Curator and Collection Educator, Mott-Warsh Collection
“The ABCs of Paradise Found is a mesmerizing, magical journey through the Caribbean. The book’s seductive, enchanting words, coupled with its whimsical paintings, tell of memories—real and imagined—in a world of fantastical adventures. It’s a refreshing, restorative read perfectly suited for anyone ready to take a flight of fancy.”
New York Travel Writers Association
“The ABCs of Paradise Found presents readers with delectable gifts from Toulon’s fondest memories and Rhinehart’s twenty-six dreamy illustrations in living color from A to Z. Discover myriad rivers and streams, morsels of yellow cake, green bananas, Spanish limes, the magic of an Emerald Pool, dine on Callalou, taste Ti Punch, try on a Wob Dwiyet, dance at Carnival, and much more. The island is Dominica, casually dubbed “The Nature Island of the Caribbean.” You’ll see why. The book is a joyful romp from yesterday for today, a must read.”