________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 7 . . . . November 21, 2008

cover I Love Chocolate.

Davide Calì. Illustrated by Evelyn Daviddi.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2009.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
ISBN 978-0-88776-912-2.

Subject Heading:
Chocolate-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 2-7.

Review by Gregory Bryan.

**** /4

Reviewed from Final Pages.


I love chocolate
because it makes
bad times better


I do not know anybody who eats more chocolate than I do, so I think that I am perfectly qualified to review Tundra's forthcoming picture book, I Love Chocolate. Slated for publication on February 10th of 2009, the book will be released just in time to coincide with all of the chocolates that will be consumed as a part of the Valentine's Day celebrations. Perhaps unfortunately, a book like I Love Chocolate might give some Valentines cause to wonder whether they love chocolate more than they love their suitors.

internal art

     I Love Chocolate is a celebration of all things chocolate — the appearance, the feel, the sound of one eating chocolate and, of course, the TASTE of chocolate. Even though our love of chocolate is a shared thing (the book's promotional materials refer to chocolate as "the world's most beloved treat"), the book celebrates individual differences in such things as flavour preferences and eating styles. When I shared the book with my daughters, we identified our own chocolate-eating styles within the pages of the book. Although one of my daughters thinks I am a "messy musher," I tend to think I am more of a "monster muncher." My nine-year-old agrees she is a "neat nibbler" while my five-year-old is one who eats chocolate by the handful. My wife, on the other hand, is a "one at a time[r]." I expect readers will, like my family, have fun identifying themselves in the book.

     I Love Chocolate was originally published in Italian in 2001 under the title, Mi Piace Il Cioccolato. Such is the almost-universal appeal of chocolate that I see this book being translated into many additional languages other than just Tundra Books' new English translation.

     Written by Davide Calì and illustrated by Evelyn Daviddi, I Love Chocolate is a delightful blend of clever, precise writing and colourful, imaginative artwork. Both the text and the illustrations contain liberal servings of humour, and this is a "feel good" book that, although geared primarily to young children, will appeal to people of all ages. At an advertised price of CDN$14.99 for the hardcover, this book represents wonderful value for money, and Tundra Books are to be congratulated for offering the book at such an affordable price.

     Calì's text features careful word selection. Indeed, despite the translation, the language is delightfully pleasing to the ear. Daviddi's mixed media artwork is heavily textured. The illustrations feature an interesting use of colour and of shapes. For instance, the linoleum floor pattern is used to reflect the squares of a block of chocolate. The frequently appearing squares are simultaneously juxtaposed against rounded character faces, mouths and body postures. It all works in such a way that the senses are stimulated and...passions are aroused. I could continue to sing the praises of Tundra Books and I Love Chocolate but, right now, I have other things to which I need to attend.

     Now, where did I place the chocolate?

Highly Recommended.

Gregory Bryan is a chocoholic who teaches literacy education and children's literature classes in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.