Those with a sweet tooth will savor Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh. The volume traces the history of the confection from its origins in the rainforest to its role as an Aztec offering to the god Quetzalcoatl to its ration to soldiers during WWI to mass market treat. The book will accompany an exhibition at Chicago's Field Museum. Mouth-watering full-color photographs, a glossary and an author's note addressing deforestation and labor violations associated with the production of chocolate make this a handsome resource. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-A creatively designed cover and inside papers tempt chocolate aficionados and curious children to learn more about the connection between rainforests and chocolate. The presentation is enlivened by color photos, illustrations, nostalgic black-and-white pictures, and varied typography and layout. These artistic touches, along with a kaleidoscope of fascinating information, result in a delightful book. Children learn how the seeds of the cacao trees are processed. The historical beginnings are mentioned-how the Maya, Aztecs, Conquistadors, and eventually Europeans all became enamored of this creamy confectionery treat. The author touches on chocolate's effect on health, how African slaves worked the cacao and sugar fields, and Milton Hershey's enormous role in the evolution of chocolate candies and candy bars. A wonderfully illustrative description, paired with step-by-step color photos, takes readers from cacao pod to candy bar. This book instills an appreciation and respect for rainforests and laborers, is fun to read and share, and will prompt a visit to the nearest candy counter. It is a welcome supplement to existing titles, such as Jacqueline Dineen's Chocolate (Carolrhoda, 1991; o.p.), Richard Ammon's The Kids' Book of Chocolate (Atheneum, 1987; o.p.), and Samuel G. Woods's Chocolate: From Start to Finish (Blackbirch, 1999).-Augusta R. Malvagno, Queens Borough Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Chocolate is more than just the favorite flavor of millions of people. To some it borders on addiction; ask any "chocoholic." The Aztecs and other ancient cultures used the cacao seeds as currency. The Maya offered chocolate to their gods. Chocolate was only known in liquid form until the mid–19th century. At some point it became a symbol of romantic love. Using accessible, even chatty language, Burleigh has undertaken to present a history of chocolate consumption along with detailed explanations of the chocolate-making process as it has evolved over the centuries. It is a story filled with fascinating facts and anecdotes, as it encompasses much of world history, from the age of exploration to modern times. It contains elements of ancient civilizations, religious ritual, conquest, slavery, social and economic class systems, intrigue, industrialization, ecological exploitation, and more. Information is presented clearly, and with reasonable objectivity, including both positive and negative aspects of past and present chocolate production processes. Copiously illustrated with photographs, diagrams, and paintings provided by the Field Museum of Chicago, the format is visually and graphically interesting and appealing. Text is presented in varying sizes, fonts, and colors, and at times overlays, is surrounded by, or is incorporated into the illustrative material. A glossary is included that defines or redefines most of the terms used in the text. A well-conceived and executed work on a subject of great interest. (Nonfiction. 8-12)