COCOA ICE by Diana Appelbaum


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In the late 19th century, American schooners brought ice, refined sugar, and other goods to Santo Domingo to exchange for cocoa and coffee beans, and out of that Appelbaum spins a fine story of two children who love chocolate ices. In the tropical summer of the island, a girl helps her parents collect, harvest, and prepare cocoa beans, which require a lot of coaxing before the transcendent chocolate flavor is released. She goes with her father when the cocoa is traded to a Yankee mariner; he shares a bag scented with balsam needles, as well as the picture of his niece. The niece, in Maine's hard winter, describes how ice is prepared, cut, and made to keep through the warmer months, and then carried to and traded in Santo Domingo. The strong, flat colors of cut paper and gouache make marvelous images of both endless summer and the seemingly endless winter, and the shared fondness for cocoa ice (as well as a seashell and the balsam bag) enable the girls to reach across their different worlds to connect. A tasty treat.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Orchard