Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Picture Book Ages 4–7
List Price: $23.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardcover with dust jacket | Reinforced Trade Binding
Trim Size: 9.5 x 11 inches / 24.13 x 27.94 cm
Publication Date: Nov 22, 2022
Distributed in the US by Ingram Publisher Services
Rights Available: World ex. North America; French for North America
In a cozy 1920s chocolate shop, the special ingredients in each perfect treat are empathy, generosity, and thoughtful acts of kindness.
Eight-year-old Daniel cherishes the hour he spends every morning helping his Great-Uncle Lewis in his chocolate shop. They mix, temper, pour, and mold. “It’s magic, my boy,” Uncle Lewis says. And Daniel agrees. When a new girl named Sarah joins his class, Daniel sees how lonely she is and begins sneaking chocolates into her desk. Seeing Sarah light up after each treat is wonderful…but then Daniels starts noticing other classmates with troubles. Soon he is hiding more and more chocolates until the exciting day when everyone in class receives one, even the teacher! The best part is, no one knows it’s him.
But then, when Daniel is the one feeling sad and alone, who will know to comfort him?
In Cocoa Magic, Gabrielle Grimard’s rich and nostalgic illustrations transport readers to a cozy 1920s chocolate shop and a stiff brick schoolhouse that somehow learns to be warm as well. In her text and closing author ’s note, clinical social worker Sandra Bradley celebrates the wonders that happen when someone meets another person’s need to be seen and understood—even through the smallest act of kindness.
Awards and Honours:
Quill and Quire “2022 Fall Preview: Books for Young People – Picture Books” Feature
49th Shelf “New Fall 2022 Books” Feature
“Setting the tale in the 1920s, the soft, warm-toned illustrations…give this an old-fashioned, historical feel….Delicious endpapers feature 24 unique, beautifully decorated candies….The SEL element is strongly laid out, with a nice twist at the end…”—School Library Journal
“Chocolates bring togetherness—and magic—to a 1920s Prince Edward Island school… Bradley crafts a story laced with empathy and kindness. Grimard’s soft, mixed-media illustrations evoke a sense of coziness… Endpapers mimic a box of chocolates—a delicious touch…Sweet as sugar.—Kirkus Reviews
“Grimard’s soft, muted artwork captures the old-fashioned feel of the story and its 1920s time period, but its message of giving is timeless. Bradley brings her experience as a social worker to this tale of empathy and kindness.”—Booklist
“This is a very sweet story…the message is universal. The illustrations have a glowing warmth that suits the story’s tone….Cocoa Magic has a timeless feel – it could easily have been written anytime in the hundred years between the time it is set and now – and is sure to resonate with kids and their parents.”—Quill & Quire
“While some children’s books about big topics like empathy miss the mark of a child-friendly vocabulary, this book is well-pitched to reach its intended audience and spark big themes. This could even serve as a good holiday read for young children who might struggle with the joy of gift-giving over merely gift-receiving.”—Children’s Literature
“[I]t’s a wholesome story with beautiful illustrations and a lesson that everyone can learn from.”—CM Magazine
“This charming picture book is…beautifully illustrated, and manages to be both about chocolate and empathy.”—Edible Inland Northwest
“A story about doing little things for others to build empathy and compassion, with the most delicious looking end pages I’ve ever seen!”—The International Educator
“What a wonderful story of empathy!…There may be magic in the cocoa and the sugar but most of it comes from the empathy demonstrated through the gift giving….that’s the important message to cherish from Cocoa Magic.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“Mixed-media illustrations by Ms. Grimard offer young readers a real feel for this time in history while also showing the emotions felt with such wonderful acts of goodness.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction