The Chocolate Touch

by Patrick Skene Catling (1952)

The Chocolate Touch is a charming little re-telling of the King Midas story – only this time it’s young John Midas who can turn everything into…chocolate!

Why should you read that? Of course, it is engaging for children to read a book that is all about chocolate – at least on the surface.  As John Midas says, “Other things are just food. But chocolate’s chocolate!” But The Chocolate Touch isn’t really just about chocolate.

It’s a sweetly and briskly told fable, reminiscent of the old favorite Bread and Jam for Frances. All readers – parents, teachers, and students – will appreciate a story with lessons packaged with some salt and prickly tang.

By putting chocolate as the focus, Patrick Skene Catling also manages to make both his protagonist and his readers appreciate the things on the plate that aren’t chocolate. The book is full of simple, mouth-watering descriptions of creamy milk and ripe cherries. Kids will associate the book with candy…and end up craving a healthy dinner!

Finding these themes packaged in a short 110 page novel makes The Chocolate Touch a good choice for schools wanting a simpler or less intimidating first book for One School, One Book.  Or, it makes a nice book to pair with a second more complex title, providing a wonderful stepping stone to a more challenging read.

The Chocolate Touch is a sweet classic from 1952, but the lessons are timeless.  Enjoy the chocolate, enjoy the healthy message, enjoy the wisdom – “all things in moderation” – of The Chocolate Touch. And share it with your families!

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