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No Monkeys, No Chocolate

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  148 reviews
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-s
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Charlesbridge
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  591 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who knew the chocolate that is massively produced and consumed all over the world comes from a cocoa-tree that’s very existence is hinged on a fragile web of mutualistic relationships between coffin flies, midges, lizards, fungi, and monkeys? Chocolate lovers may want to reconsider chocolate as their drug of choice. If the coffin fly is unable to keep the leaf-cutter ant at bay the coco-plant is doomed! Endangered monkeys and midges are necessary for the reproduction and pollination of these sed ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Using a circle story format readers are able to see how vital each part of the delicate balance in our ecosystems truly is. No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young with illustrations by Nicole Wong is a work of nonfiction rising above other titles for its authenticity in text and pictures. Even after several readings I found myself actively engaged each time, looking for added items in the visuals and marveling at the knowledge I was gleaning from the writing.

My full review:
Roberta Gibson
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This title definitely captures the reader’s attention with the word “chocolate,” and then holds it with an layered approach explaining how midges, flies, lizards and monkeys all are important to the continued survival of the cocoa tree.   

The story starts with a birthday party with an amazing amount of chocolate desserts, which draws children in.  Then we’re off to the tropics to find out where and how chocolate is grown. Once we see the cocoa beans drying in the sun, it is time to find out wher
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This non-fiction picture book is an excellent example of the interdependence of so many different things in the ecosystem that is necessary for the cocoa trees to grow and produce the chocolate that we all love so much! From the coffin flies who lay their eggs in the heads of the leaf cutter ants to the monkeys who spit the cocoa seeds on the ground, each part is equally essential to a world full of chocolate. A fun read aloud. Recommended for all ages.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A close-up look at the favorite sweet treat of chocolate, this nonfiction picture book explains exactly what it takes to get chocolate. The book quickly moves to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America and the cocoa beans that grow there and how they are treated to get cocoa powder from them. The book then moves to explaining cocoa pods, cocoa flowers, and cocoa leaves, but animals quickly come into the process from the midges that pollinate the cocoa flowers as they lay their egg ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
When I first saw this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got out of it was a lot of useful information! It was interesting to learn how many different animals and creatures make even the smallest contribution in order to help the cocoa beans grow, which in turn makes chocolate. I do wonder if the amount of information presented may be a bit much for some children, which then could become a bit tedious to read. However, this is the type of book that teachers can use to create a cause and ...more
The Styling Librarian
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young, illustrated by Nicole Wong – how fantastic is this non-fiction picture book? One thing I loved as a child was reading the Cricket magazine with the little insects who dropped in during articles with little comments and conversations in addition to a little comic strip which occurred and continued throughout multiple magazines. I was reminded about this when I read No Monkeys, No Chocolate because there are little book worms who are com ...more
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
There's a big process behind the main ingredient in your favorite candy bar: chocolate. In this book readers learnabout the origins of cocoa beans and the many creatures who are essential to the production of them.

Monkeys appear near the end of the book and play one of the most important roles which allows cocoa trees to grow in places they hadn't before.

This book is full of great information and the ink and watercolor illustrations support the text well, clearly showcasing the main facts.

Joannie Duris
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t love monkeys? And who doesn’t love chocolate? The title alone is enough to draw readers in, and to discover the fascinating interconnectedness of nature that does indeed link monkeys and chocolate. This multi-layered book begs for repeat readings. First, to enjoy the building-block main text. Then back again, to read the in-depth text that explains the fragile balances in the rain forest habitat that produce cocoa beans. (Gross-out loving kids will love some of these details – no bra ...more
NO MONKEYS, NO CHOCOLATE Making children aware of what it takes to make our planet "run" is one of the most vital aspects of their education. Truth is---many adults need the same education. This book serves as a superb tool in doing just that.

Beginning with several examples of things made with chocolate--the results of what can come from cocoa beans--the reader is taken on a detailed journey through the life cycle of a cocoa tree. As it is with the life cycle of any living thing on our plane
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars--Chocolate doesn't just come from the with all other foods, it has a story behind it. The story of chocolate is an especially multi-faceted one, with a surprising number of plants and animals working together. Adults and kids will be amazed and will learn something, too.

(Although, I will say, I frankly didn't care for the "bookworms" and their silly running commentary at the bottom of each page; I found it more distracting than amusing.)

Chocolate is incredibly popular with
Jeanne Bracken
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Stewart has written many engaging science books for young readers. With No Monkeys, No Chocolate, she has shed new light on the cultivation of cocoa trees in the world’s diminishing rain forests. She worked with Allen Young, “the world’s leading expert on cocoa tree pollination and growth” to create a colorful picture book with solid information provided in an accessible way yet leavened with humor provided by some “bookworm commentators” who have fun with word play. The book is a Junior ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"You can't make chocolate with cocoa beans" and "Cocoa beans can't develop without cocoa pods" and "Cocoa pods can't form with cocoa flowers." This modern day House-That-Jack-Built text helps explain the interdependency of all things. Flowers, leaves, fungi and monkeys all make chocolate. I can see multiple uses for this book: as an illustration study, adding humor (the dialoguing bookworms), structure of information text, author's note, and "what you can do to help" section.
Sandy Brehl
Melissa Stewart's mastery of picture book non-fiction is undisputed, but this particular title stands out for its excellence and capacity to inform, explain, amuse, and extend understanding of a familiar but complex item- CHOCOLATE!
The commentating, questioning, curious page-peeking critters in each lower right corner are a priceless addition, and the science writing is superbly interesting, accessible, and accurate.
A wonderful selection for mentor writing and for content area reading.
Abby Johnson
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This nonfiction picture book does a nice job of illuminating the relationships between a product we use very often - chocolate - and all the parts of the ecosystem that need to be in place in order to produce chocolate. Cocoa trees grow best in the rainforest where insects, lizards, fungi, and monkeys all do their parts to protect, nurture, and spread the seeds of the trees. This would be a great book for units on ecosystems!
Juliana Lee
The tiny bookworms at the bottom of each page bring levity to this fact-packed picture book. The reader gets a step-by-step look at how cocoa trees grow and produce the beans which will eventually become the chocolate we love so much. But as one of the bookworms says "I don't think monkey should get all the glory. Why aren't coffin flies, lizards, and fungi in the title too?" Find out how monkeys, flies, lizard, fungi and more contribute to the growth of the cocoa tree.
The Library Lady
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it

Science writing for children at its best. Stewart traces our chocolate from cocoa beans to the tree and back, and along the way introduces us to both beneficial and harmful plants and animals. The tiny "bookworms" commenting at the bottom corner of each page add to the fun. This would be great for classroom use--and don't forget the chocolate snack to go along with the lesson. :D
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Elyssa, Nadine
Perfect choice for a plant unit using Common Core standards. Readers will love the gorgeous ink and watercolor illustrations especially the little worm characters on the corner of each double spread making funny comments, to reinforce understanding of the complex ideas in the text.
Julie Esanu
Another great non-fiction book by Melissa Stewart with just enough humor (the bookworms) and yuck factor (maggots) to engage students. Use this for teaching cause and effect, as well as for note-taking with older elementary students.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great way to show children how everything on Earth is interconnected. I learned a ton. The pictures are terrific and there are two funny little worms in the corner of each page who make comments and observations. Kids will love this book.
mmmmmm . . . . who loves chocolate? did you know that midges, lizards, fungi, and monkeys all play a role in the development of those cocoa beans that we get chocolate from?

A wonderful way to convey the interdependence of life and how a whole ecosystem works together.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You really should visit Melissa Stewarts website to appreciate how wonderful this book really is. Do you want to see why we need monkeys in order to have chocolate? I did, so I read this terrific nonfiction book. Learned a lot and giggled too. Check it out! It's a GOOD read!
Edward Sullivan
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The whole sordid, fascinating story behind how we get chocolate, including brain-eating maggots and spitting monkeys with ongoing commentary from two bookworms.
Karen Arendt
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a great book to tie in to rain forests but also for plant cycles. A few parts were really gross like eating anti brains, but third through fifth grades will probably enjoy it.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great look into how we get chocolate. I was with the bookworms though wondering when we would get to the monkeys so I applaud the suspense.
An original, clever, and engaging approach to help children understand ecosystems.
Pamela Powell
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun look at how everything is interconnected.
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Stewart had done it again. She has taken a nonfiction subject and made it fun to read about. Plus her use of the bookworms on each page adds humor. Great book!
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Great look at the cycle of dependence in the rain forest flora and fauna, but the real stars are the comic "bookworms" who add commentary to each two-page spread.
Stephanie Tournas
Non-fiction picture book about how chocolate is a product of the rainforest food chain, and how monkeys are a part of the chain. Wonderful for sharing one-to-one, or for story time or classroom.
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Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 science and nature books for children. She offers a wide range of programs for schools, libraries, nature centers, and conferences." ...more

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