"If you're like most people on earth, you are rather fond of chocolate. And if you're more like I am, you dream about it, crave and frankly, live for it. So why not learn all you can about magical cocoa beans that satisfiy your taste buds like no other food can? For starters, cocoa pods are the fruits that grow on cocoa trees, and throughout the pages of No Monkeys, No Chocolate, what these beans need to grow and thrive will unfold in a most fascinating fashion.
The way the authors wrote this book is very clever. Many of the two-page spreads have headings summarizing what the beans can't live without. For example, Cocoa Beans Cannot Develop Without Coco Pods, Cocoa Pods Can't form Without Cocoa Flowers and...Midges and Cocoa Flowers Can't Bloom Without Cocoa Leaves...and Maggots.
We learn intriguing facts about how the plants depend on the ecosystem of the rainforest - from the earth to the animals - to produce the coveted beans. There's even a page about how the trees are protected from damaging leaf-cutter ants, which are close to my heart, as these are incredibly powerful insects I talk about in every author visit I do myself.
All the many facts in this story are fascinating, and will educate and entertain, not only children, but also teachers and parents. I read it twice to soak it all in, and I loved every minute of it. I also enjoyed the tiny Smart Aleck cartoon bookworms in the corners of the pages and their humorous, yet educational comments. I'm sure you will too.
By now I'm also sure you're wondering about the wonderful title of this book and the role monkeys play in the survival of cocoa trees, but you didn't expect me to give that away, now did you? You'll have to read it yourself.
No Monkeys, No Chocolate will make readers want to learn all they can to preserve our precious rainforests. The book also introduces them to how an ecosystem works in harmony, and how each part of the process involved plays its own crucial role. The illustrations by Nicole Wang are colorful, entertaining and wonderfully detailed, guiding the reader through the entire growing process. Two incredibly qualified authors penned this book., and their expertise will impress and inspire young readers. And hopefully they too will want to study science. (Be sure to read the Author's Note in the back of the book.)" Debbie S. Glade said.
"Monkeys, humor and chocolate - three great things all wrapped up in one book! This is just the kind of book I like to use to help children gain a better understanding of the world they live in. When they read this book, they giggle at the comedic worms, smile at the mention of all that chocolate and drop their jaws when they "get" the connections between the organisms in the book. My favorite part, though, is when they begin to ask about the connections related to their other foods and realize the profound nature of their own connected-ness to all life!" Heather Montgomery said.
"This book demonstrates that you can do real science in a way that kids will enjoy. Not only does Stewart tell the story of the cocoa tree, but she deftly conveys the message of an interdependent ecosystem, all in the framework of an entertaining story.
The illustrations are beautiful and scientifically accurate, and how many children's authors bother to consult a leading expert on the subject matter in order to tell the story accurately? Although the book is aimed at a young audience, the story of the cocoa tree is one that would interest any chocolate lover!" darwinslapdog said.
"I loved the illustration, the comic relief of the bookworms in the bottom right-hand corners, as well as the accurate depiction on how monkeys, as well as many other rainforest creatures, are essential in the creation of chocolate! Great for all ages." Stephanie Bohlen said.
"My daughter used the book at school for her 1st grade class. They enjoyed the book and will use it next year." joe kelly said.
"Melissa Stewart is the best and I just love this book! If you are a non-formal or formal environmental educator- you really need this book!" hpsoftball said.
"It's a great book, explaining how so many things in nature are related. The two little bookworms in the corner are a perfect humorous addition for this age group. It didn't get 5 stars because the monkeys really are a very small part of the book, but I can recommend this without reservation." s losee said.
"it was a little harder then I expected for the students to read. However the information was wonderful. The student who could read it, enjoyed it." katie herrmann said.