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The Sweetest Stories

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Our family stopped at Hershey’s Chocolate World on a recent road trip, and my older daughter soon developed an obsession with the chocolate-making process. Though we’d only spent an hour at the site, the factory tour ride and chocolate milk in the café influenced her play for weeks to come. When I started research children’s chocolate books, I quickly realized how many academic disciplines we could cover through the subject of chocolate—a confection that’s traveled the globe and still makes an international impact on history, the environment, and cultures. The books on this list represent that range; as always, there are works of fiction and non-fiction—and all of them are sweet reads.

  1. Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan and Stéphane Jorisch features the titular character, a beloved “handful,” who just can’t wait to get her hands on some chocolate cake
  2. Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate by Dianne de Las Casas and Holly Stone-Barker tells a trickster tale about how humans learned to love chocolate, the food of the gods
  3. The Chocolate Cat by Sue Stainton and Anne Mortimer shows the transformation of a chocolate maker, his shop, and his village with a little magic and a loyal feline friend
  4. The Chocolate Voyage by Tish Raibe and Dave Aikins takes readers on a trip to learn the process of making chocolate in the delightful Forest of Coco-a-licious
  5. Cocoa Ice by Diana Appelbaum and Holly Meade follows a ship from Santo Domingo to Maine (and back) to reveal the history of the chocolate trade
  6. From Cocoa Bean to Chocolate by Robin Nelson uses facts and photos to illustrate the way chocolate is mad, from bean to bar
  7. Grandma’s Chocolate by Mara Price and Lisa Fields shares a bilingual story of a grandmother, granddaughter, and their shared heritage and love of chocolate
  8. Lilly’s Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes keeps it sweet and simple with a little mouse’s dilemma about where to stash her last chocolate
  9. No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart, Allen Young, and Nicole Wong depicts the interconnected plants and animals that support cacao trees and their environment
  10. Smart about Chocolate: A Sweet History by Sandra Markle and Charise Mericle Harper describes the chocolate-making process and the candy industry in a fun format, complete with recipes
  11. You Can’t Eat a Princess by Gillian Rogerson and Sarah McIntyre launches into a silly outer-space story of a determined princess who loves chocolate almost as much as she loves her father

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