No Monkeys, No Chocolate
by Melissa Stewart
and Allen Young
Charlesbridge, 2013
for ages 5-8
ISBN 978-1-58089-287-2
Purchase this book at your local independent bookseller or Amazon.com.
Melissa Stewart's Revision Timeline
READERS THEATER
TEACHER'S GUIDE
STORYTIME GUIDE
NO MONKEYS,
NO CHOCOLATE

ACTIVITIES:
Secret Note
Which One is Different?
Word Search
 
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Reviews

“This clever circular tale with a curious title . . . take[s] children backward through the life cycle of the cocoa tree: pods, flowers, leaves, stems, roots and back to beans. The interdependence of plants and animals is introduced in the process. . . . Graceful ink-and-watercolor illustrations range from an expansive view of the rain forest to a close-up of aphids. . . . Backmatter helps young naturalists understand why conservation and careful stewardship is important. Children—and more than a few adults—will find this educational you-are-there journey to the rain forest fascinating.”
“The book will entice readers, but what will engage them is the use of two bookworms, which add commentary on the important interaction of rain forest life that brings the best treat.  Beginning with common desserts, readers are led on a backward journey to the origin of chocolate. From cocoa beans to pods to flowers, the intricate cycle of the plant and the animals who aid it are chronicled using bright illustrations and clear, descriptive text. . . . The right mix of interesting and gross facts brings readers together to share the information, and the humor provided by the book worms will induce laughter and rereads of this title. Great for Common Core State Standards literary nonfiction, this book will work well with science and geography units.”
“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.”
“Beginning with common desserts, readers are led on a backwards journey to the origins of chocolate. From cocoa beans to pods to flowers, the intricate cycle of the plant and the animals who aid it are chronicled using bright illustrations and clear, descriptive text. . . . [T]wo bookworms ask questions, tell jokes, and prompt readers to think ahead and predict. The right mix of interesting and gross facts brings readers together to share the information, and the humor provided by the bookworms will induce laughter and rereads of this title. Great for Common Core State Standards literary nonfiction, this book will work well in science and geography units.” Highly Recommended.
"This delightful, easy to read, and beautifully illustrated children's book describes the production of chocolate from the cocoa tree. It explains the intricate way that the cocoa tree depends on many other organisms (including monkeys!) to produce the cocoa beans that are ultimately used to make chocolate. . . .[T]he story is very well told and the 'sidebar' comments by a pair of wise–cracking bookworms on every page keep the story lively and interesting, as well as reinforcing the main points of the story. This book would be an excellent way to introduce young students to the concepts of interdependence among organisms in an ecosystem.”
“Starting with the finished products (cake! candy bars! hot fudge sundaes!) and working backward, Stewart and Young explain where chocolate comes from. The expository text begins with cocoa beans, which are dried and processed by humans, then the story moves back to cocoa pods, which come from cocoa flowers pollinated by midges, going all the way back to monkeys dropping cocoa seeds on the rainforest floor and thus allowing new trees to grow. In this way, readers deduce the interdependence of life in the rainforest rather than relying on didactic telling from the authors. Full-bleed ink and watercolor illustrations zoom in on each step along the way, lending visual support to help identify potentially unfamiliar plants and animals. In a corner of each spread, two little worms provide a running commentary, with knee-slappers and puns galore. A concluding note describes the fragility of the environment, and an author’s note from Stewart outlines her writing process. A “What You Can Do to Help” page lists general suggestions for conservation.”
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