By: Dianne de Las Casas
Illustrated by: Holly Stone-Barker
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: October 17, 2011
Yum! Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate cake, pudding, candy bars – the list goes on and on. But did you know there was once a time, fortunately a loooong time ago, when chocolate was the food of the gods and no humans were allowed to enjoy the delicious treats that came from the cacao tree? This is the tale of how humans finally got to delight in the wonders of chocolate.
Sun God is very happy. In fact, it seems he’s always happy because he gets to eat the rich, yummy food hidden inside the cacao pods whenever he wants. “Delicious!” he says again and again. When the Wind God overhears Sun God remarking about this amazing food of the gods, he suggests sharing the “tesoro de cacao, your cacao treasure, with the people of the earth.” Sun God laughs at the suggestion because chocolate is the food of the gods; no human may indulge in the treat.
Wind God is determined to find a way to get the cacao pods to his human friends so he transforms himself into a blue frog and hops along to the village to tell the children of his discovery:
“Sun God hides his treasure deep.
By the pond, inside large pods,
he hides the secret food of the gods.”
Will the people of the earth find the cacao tree and enjoy the many foods made from its pod? What will the Sun God do when he learns of the Wind God’s betrayal?
Based on an Aztec legend, Blue Frog is an absolutely delightful tale that introduces young readers to this ancient world. The story is upbeat and happy, and the illustrations are bright and cheery and work perfectly with the text. There are numerous Spanish words/phrases inserted into the text, all translated within the text, that help move the story along. By the end of the story children may be going around exclaiming “delicioso” and “tesoro de cacao.” A perfect bedtime story as well as a read/discuss book for classroom work.