Some of the most wonderful things in the world come to us from far away and without us even realizing it, someone has worked really, really hard and long to bring us these special tastes and loves. Here is a window into the wonder of that chocolate bar or cup of cocoa that is making your day a little brighter.
A young girl and her father are working together in a bright kitchen to make a cake for her birthday. With Mom gone on a special errand the two have time to add the eggs, add the flour and for Dad to tell the story of Grandpa Cacao and his cacao farm back in the Ivory Coast of Africa where "the air breathes hot and damp thick with stories and music and the languages of people from tiny villages and big cities." There's a lushness and a richness as much from the gorgeous illustrations of the cacao trees and pods as from the recipe for a beyond delicious chocolate cake the two are whipping up.
This cake has a lot of ingredients you won't ever truly taste. Sure, the eggs and the flour and that amazing stuff called chocolate will make it special, especially on a birthday. But, there's a lot more to this one. Watch as Grandpa Cacao picks the cacao pod off the tree, slices the pod open so expertly, and reveals the sticky, white beans inside. Watch as now everyone in the village works together, following the time-honored steps and tending to the beans day and night so the weather can't bring harm to the precious crop.
Watch as father and daughter work in a choreographed team to make their cake together in their comfy kitchen and we follow the journey of the cocoa beans as they are farmed by the people of the Ivory Coast who are represented in their generations as farmers in silhouette. It's an homage to the years and years of expert work and investment by these tough folks who have made it possible for chocolate to find its way to our homes especially for those very special celebrations.
Honoring back breaking toil, expertise, dedication, knowledge, and the heritage of this place where elephants roam, this is a smart book that can connect our children to other parts of the world, to the very different lives of others, to the fine heritage of others who come from other parts of our planet.
The book includes back matter honoring the role of cacao in Mexico and other parts of the world where it can be grown.
Eye-opening just as it will make you want a cup of cocoa or a chocolate bar...consider yourself forewarned.
40 pages 978-1681196404 Ages 3-8
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
This beautifully illustrated story connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa.
Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere!
As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. "Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao," Daddy says. "We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him." Once the cake is baked, it's ready to eat, but this isn't her only birthday present. There's a special surprise waiting at the front door . . .--from the publisher