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HOW SWEET IT IS (AND WAS) by Ruth Freeman Swain


The History of Candy

by Ruth Freeman Swain & illustrated by John O’Brien

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8234-1712-3
Publisher: Holiday House

Kids and candy naturally go together and this brief history of types of candies and chewing gum is cunningly sweetened with O’Brien’s finely crosshatched, stippled illustrations. The handwritten-style text explains the origins of sugar, chocolate, and the word “candy,” always addressing the reader in the second-person. The wryly humorous drawings mockingly construe reenactment scenes, e.g., an Indian woman collects maple syrup by standing on a stack of pancakes; kids ride bikes and velocipedes made of peppermint penny candies. A fascinating four-page time line runs from 1493, when Columbus took sugar cane seedlings to the Americas, to 1900, when Milton Hershey made a five-cent chocolate bar, to 1999, when radio lollipops were invented. Recipes for Sugar Paste, Vassar Fudge, and Belly-Guts Taffy included. An average American eats 25 pounds of candy per year—indeed, how sweet it is! (brief bibliography) (Nonfiction. 6-10)