Cover image for No monkeys, no chocolate
No monkeys, no chocolate
Stewart, Melissa.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, [2013]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 cm
When you think of chocolate, you might think of a candy bar, a birthday cake, or a glass of chocolate milk. But where does chocolate come from? This book tells about the cocoa bean, which grows in the tropical rain forests and how the animals and other living things play an important part, even the monkeys.
Reading Level:
AD 740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 159207.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 2 Quiz: 61094.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Williamsville Library SB267 .S67 2013 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Everyone loves chocolate, right? But how many people actually know where chocolate comes from? How it's made? Or that monkeys do their part to help this delicious sweet exist?

This delectable dessert comes from cocoa beans, which grow on cocoa trees in tropical rain forests. But those trees couldn't survive without the help of a menagerie of rain forest critters: a pollen-sucking midge, an aphid-munching anole lizard, brain-eating coffin fly maggots--they all pitch in to help the cocoa tree survive. A secondary layer of text delves deeper into statements such as "Cocoa flowers can't bloom without cocoa leaves . . . and maggots," explaining the interdependence of the plants and animals in the tropical rain forests. Two wise-cracking bookworms appear on every page, adding humor and further commentary, making this book accessible to readers of different ages and reading levels.

Back matter includes information about cocoa farming and rain forest preservation, as well as an author's note.

Author Notes

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 150 science books for children. She holds degrees in biology and science journalism. Recent books include UNDER THE SNOW (Peachtree, 2009) and the A Place for series (Peachtree). She lives in Acton, Massachusetts.

Nicole Wong was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, with both parents in the arts, so she never thought of becoming anything except an illustrator. She graduated from RISD with a BFA in illustration and is now happily a full-time illustrator of magazines, children's educational and trade books. She still lives in Fall River with her husband, daughter, sleepy kitty, and two big pups.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Chocolate and monkeys may seem worlds apart, but as Stewart and Young point out in their clear text, it takes monkeys (and other critters) to scatter the cocoa beans (seeds) throughout the rain forest. Munching on the soft, tasty pulp lining the pods as they travel through the trees, the monkeys discard the not-so-tasty beans, scattering them indiscriminately. In a format slightly reminiscent of the old "This Is the House That Jack Built," the authors present a simply written look at a complex ecosystem encompassed by one tree's life cycle. Flowers, midges, leaves, maggots, ants, lizards, roots, and more all form parts of the process of producing the cocoa beans so essential to our candy bars and brownies. In a lighter note, two "bookworms" provide an amusing counterpoint in a tiny triangle at the bottom of the page. Wong's realistic watercolors stretch across the pages in warm cocoa browns and soft greens, with occasional splashes of rosy pink. Appended is a page pleading for more rain-forest preservation (not much mention of cocoa "plantations"), another with lists of things to do to make one's life "greener," and still another with an author's note on the origin and development of the book. For slightly older readers, a more traditional look may be found in Adrianna Morganelli's staid The Biography of Chocolate (Crabtree, 2006), but Stewart's book has more visual appeal (and then there are those monkeys...).-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chocolate chip cookies.Chocolate ice cream.Moist, fudgy brownies.What makes all these desserts so delicious?Chocolate, of course.But you can't make chocolate without . . . . . . cocoa beans.Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cocoa tree. Cocoa treesgrow naturally in the tropical rain forests of Central andSouth America. But today farmers grow them in othertropical areas, too.To make chocolate, workers spread cocoa beans withrakes and dry them in the sun. Then they roast them ina giant oven. Later, machines smash the beans into athick paste and squeeze out the liquid to make cocoapowder. It gets mixed with a variety of ingredients tomake different kinds of chocolate. Excerpted from No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart, Allen M. Young All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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