Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chocolate Day

by Susan Berger

July 7th is Chocolate day. In honor of Chocolate Day I am listing several children’s books with Chocolate in the title. Some of these I had never hear of, but they sound intriguing.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl.
The classic chocolate fantasy, upon which two different movies have been based. When a poor little boy named Charlie Bucket finds a Golden Ticket to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory, his life is changed forever. (I am pretty sure everyone has read this one)

The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier.
(Young Adult). This is a classic story about a teenager's decision to buck tradition by refusing to sell chocolates for his school's annual fundraiser. Not too much chocolate action per se, but it's a riveting story about one boy's fight against brutal conformity.

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
by Margot Theis Raven
Based on the real-life story of American pilot Lt. Gail Halvorsen, who dropped chocolate candy for the children stranded in West Berlin during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, and a young girl who befriends him. It's a good representation of how children were affected by the events of the Cold War.

Smart About Chocolate: A Sweet History
by Sandra Markle
Non Fiction children's book detailing the history of chocolate, written for little kids (ages 4-8). It includes a variety of facts about chocolate, stretching all the way back to the Mayans, and also offers recipes and a bibliography of recommended books about our favorite ambrosia.

Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
Fictional account starting after Julia runs away from an abusive fiancé, she settles down in a small town with her aunt and becomes famous for her skill at making chocolate. The book is an excellent character study of how chocolate, good friends and supportive family can help a flawed person mend her life. 

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
by Robert Rankin.
(Fantasy). Someone's sneaking around Toy City killing off famous nursery rhyme characters in fiendish ways, and leaving tasty hollow chocolate bunnies at the murder scenes. If plush detective Eddie Bear and his sidekick Jack can't find the killer, it might just mean the end of the world. (I am not sure this is for children, but I want to read it anyway)

To end, here are some weird chocolate facts:

These facts come from extremechocolate.com (you might want to visit)

1. Chocolate originated in Mayan culture, where it held a highly revered place.
In fact, the Mayans believed chocolate was so sacred they could only drink it from solid gold goblets -- which had to be thrown away after a single use! The Mayans believed chocolate came directly from the gods, and they even used cocoa beans as currency. That’s one of the better strange facts in chocolate history: money really did grow on trees!
2. Chocolate is responsible for the microwave.
Scientists were initially experimenting with micro waves in the hopes of creating a better radar detector. In the wake of WWII, scientists continued to test devices called magnetrons. On one such lab, a scientist named Percy Spencer happened to stroll through with a chocolate bar in his pocket. When he discovered the melted chocolate, Spencer realized that he might be able to use the magnetron to cook food. He tried popping corn (successfully) and then thought he'd give real food a try. His first experiment? An egg, which cooked so quickly, it blew up in his face!
3. Americans consume almost half of the world's annual chocolate products.
American chocolate companies use 1.5 billion pounds of milk every year. Every Russian and American space voyage has included chocolate bars.
4. During the 16th and 17th centuries, eating chocolate was considered a sin!
(Drinking it was ok though) By the 18th century, however, people considered chocolate a medicine. It was especially popular as a treatment for stomach aches
5. Chocolate is both addictive and deadly for dogs.
In large amounts, chocolate can lead to epileptic seizures and poisoning. The poisonous part of chocolate is a chemical called theobromine. It's harmless to humans, but deadly to dogs.
Now go read a chocolate book and eat some chocolate.

12 comments:

  1. I like chocolate. A little too much. Just watched a DVD with the kids about the history of choclate, where it comes from, how its made and such. Simple yet interesting process.

    Stephen Tremp

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  2. Terrific post. Now I'm hungry.

    Congratulations on your sons wedding!

    Hope you are feeling better real soon!

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  3. Dear Steve, I have always wanted to make chocolate from scratch. However I uually settle for Cadbury's or See's
    Thanks Donna. Go buy some chocolate!

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  4. Thanks for sharing the interesting post about chocolate! It makes me want some too!

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  5. I'm not exactly sure how come chocolate only got a single DAY, but I'm sure there's some PR opportunity there - thanks for sharing this - very fun!
    Namaste,
    Lee

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  6. Chocolate Day? July 7th? I never knew that, not that I need an excuse for eating chocolate. Fancy it being considered a sin. So glad we don't live in those times. Thanks for all those chocolately facts.

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  7. I never knew there was a chocolate day; that's good news. Thanks for the book recs., too. Several of these have been added to my TBR list.

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  8. to 芸茂芸茂
    感谢您可能毫无意义的评论你...
    Thanks lee, Rosalind and Lori. I added two of them to my "to read" list. I feel happy that Chocolate has it's own day. I wonder if Chocolate Malts have their own day or if it is just a subset of Chocolate.
    Namaste

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