The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
How It's Made: Chocolate Bar by Sarah Ridley
I used The Chocolate Touch with my younger son for a home school unit. He really enjoyed the book. It definitely helped that he knew the Greek myth of Midas' Touch. In this book, John Midas, who loves all things candy, gets the chocolate touch. As he goes through the day, his chocolate touch becomes more powerful. My son found some of his mishaps quite funny. It is a fairly short chapter book with at least one full page illustration for each of the twelve chapters. I think the new cover art definitely draws kids in more than the original cover. I would recommend this book for a younger reader who loves chocolate or a reluctant reader who could be drawn into the story by the chocolate and funny situations. At the end of the story, hopefully the reader has learned that greed gains nothing good or too much of a good thing can be bad.
After reading The Chocolate Touch, we had a unit study on chocolate. One of the best books I found on the process of making chocolate was A Chocolate Bar, copyrighted 2005 and 2006. I don't usually blog on the resource books I use during home schooling, but I was so impressed by this book that I needed to let people know about it. This book had just the right amount of information--enough that we both learned many new things, but my son was not overwhelmed by all the facts or bored by too much information. The reader starts in Ghana at a cocoa tree and follows the cocoa from harvest, then across the ocean to the factory and finally to the wrapped chocolate bar. The photographs and glossary are wonderful. I also appreciated the information on fair trade chocolate!! I don't know if this book is available now or if only libraries can get it, but I highly recommend this book if you're interested at all in how chocolate is made. There are other titles in the How It's Made series covering Cotton T-Shirt, Rubber Tire, and Wooden Chair. The books are published by Gareth Stevens Publishing with a website at www.garethstevens.com .