This beautifully illustrated story connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa.
Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere!
As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. "Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao," Daddy says. "We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him." Once the cake is baked, it's ready to eat, but this isn't her only birthday present. There's a special surprise waiting at the front door . . .
Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, New York, and grew up in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. As a little girl, she loved to draw, paint, make up dances, and play dress-up in a household that was never devoid of chocolate. As she grew up, she didn't really change! Elizabeth now lives in Albany, where she explores a multicultural world through painting, silk-screening, collage, and pondering the endless possibilities of chocolate. Grandpa Cacao is her first authored-illustrated book, and a love letter to the grandfather she never knew.
“Evocative . . . sure to expand the minds of children, this is an engaging multicultural addition for a public library picture book collection.” —School Library Journal, starred review
"Zunon, who based the story on her own childhood, uses a winsome blend of paint, collage and ghostly screen-printed figures that represent the faraway Grandpa Cacao--who appears in a buoyant surprise ending, just as the cake is ready." - New York Times Book Review
“Replete with sensory details, and two spreads of backmatter round out the informational content, including maps, history, and a cake recipe. Delectable treats plus family history make this a sweet story to share.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gracefully intertwines the past and present.” —Booklist
“Striking oil paint, collage, and screen-printed illustrations . . . point to the importance of traditions to those in the African diaspora when they settle in new places.” —Horn Book Magazine
“Zunon conveys how scents and shared recipes can connect the past to the present.” —Publishers Weekly
“Elizabeth Zunon's warm, bright illustrations provide a cheerful balance, but it's the ache of a parent's absence that most powerfully animates the book.” —The New York Times Book Review on POEMS IN THE ATTIC
“This book will appeal to adults eager to impart an uplifting Third World human-interest story, but it is also sure to resonate with children who will simply love the curiosity, resilience and resourcefulness of this doughty African youth.” —The Wall Street Journal on THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND
“The co-authors have collaborated with artist Elizabeth Zunon on a powerful, gorgeously illustrated children's book.” —The Boston Globe on THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND