A boy and his grandfather help popularize chocolate in 17th century France playing a key role in the chocolate trade. A fold-out includes facts about chocolate history chocolate-making and a hot chocolate recipe by Claudia Roden.
"Highly recommended" --The Jewish Book Council
Bank Street College "Best Children's Books of the Year," 2023 Edition
"Weav-ing togeth-er fairy tale ele-ments and his-to-ry, Lev-en-thal illus-trates the per-sis-tence of one Jew-ish fam-i-ly as they enrich the cul-ture of their new home." - Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council
Benjamin dreams of making chocolate like his grandfather Marco--roasting and grinding the cocoa beans, and stirring it just right. Back in Spain, Marco was known as the Chocolate King for his incredible hot chocolate But here in France, most people in town have never had chocolate. They think it looks strange, like mud. It just may take a chocolate catastrophe to change their minds.
Set in France in the mid-1600's, this intergenerational story of one family's part in the migration of chocolate from the Americas to Spain and then to France and other parts of Europe includes an age-appropriate look at the Jewish expulsion from Spain:
"They called me El Rey del Chocolate . . . The Chocolate King "
"But one day," Marco said sadly, "we heard that the royal court wanted anyone who wasn't Catholic to leave the country -- including Jewish people like us. We stayed in Spain for as long as we could, but finally we had to leave."
An 8-page fold-out includes an illustrated, bite-sized history of chocolate and the Jewish community, and a look at how cocoa beans are made into chocolate, all extensively researched, plus a recipe for thick hot chocolate from Claudia Roden.