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Great Illustrated Books

The Chocolate Touch

By Patrick Skene Catling, Illustrated by Margot Apple

HarperCollins, 2006
Pages : 128
Suggested Ages: 7-10
ISBN: 0688161332

Most of the time, John Midas was a nice, well-behaved boy. In fact, he only had one fault, but it was a big one. He was candy mad. He devoured it every day, never shared it, and spent all of his money to buy more. In this modern-day cautionary tale, which may remind you of a Greek myth you know, children learn the hard way what happens if you eat too much sugar.

When his mother notices red spots on John's nose, she takes him to see Dr. Cranium, who shines his little light in the boy's throat. "Gracious me-he seems to be full of candy!" the good doctor declares. Though the doctor and John's mother implore him to eat fewer sweets, John craves more, especially chocolate. He would like chocolate all the time. (And so would some of us, come to think of it, which is why readers identify so strongly with the insatiable boy.) Heading to his friend Susan's house on Sunday, he notices a coin on the sidewalk. It's the size and shape of a quarter, but on one side, there's a chubby boy, and on the other, the initials "J. M." When he comes upon a little corner candy store he's somehow never noticed before, the friendly store owner inexplicably welcomes him by name, and swaps John's special coin for a big box of chocolate.

Back in his bedroom, the greedy guy tears off the wrappings from the box, which contains only a tiny piece of chocolate, wrapped in gold paper. Disappointed, John nevertheless pops the chocolate in his mouth. "It was the most chocolatey chocolate he had ever encountered." The next morning, his toothpaste tastes like chocolate. His orange juice tastes like chocolate. His bacon and egg taste like chocolate. Even his leather glove tastes like chocolate. In fact, everything he puts into his mouth turns to chocolate, which turns out to be an unexpected affliction at school and with his friends all day, and then a real disaster once he goes home.

Reviewed by :

Themes : CHOCOLATE. FANTASY. HUMOR. MAGIC.

If you love this book, then try:

Amato, Mary. The Word Eater. Holiday House, 2000.


Blume, Judy. Freckle Juice. Simon & Schuster, 1985 c1971.


Craft, Charlotte. King Midas and the Golden Touch. Morrow, 1999.


Demi. King Midas: The Golden Touch. McElderry, 2002.


Evans, Douglas. Apple Island or, The Truth About Teachers. Front Street, 1998.


Fleming, Candace. The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. Schwartz & Wade, 2007.


Gutman, Dan. The Get Rich Quick Club. HarperCollins, 2004.


Hewitt, Kathryn. King Midas and the Golden Touch. Harcourt, 1987.


Hornik, Laurie Miller. The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class. Clarion, 2001.


Hornik, Laurie Miller. Zoo School. Clarion, 2004.


King-Smith, Dick. Lady Lollipop. Candlewick, 2001.


Kraft, Erik. Chocolatina. BridgeWater, 1998.


MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Lippincott, 1947. (And others in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series.)


Mark, Jan. The Midas Touch. Candlewick, 2000.


Osborne, Mary Pope. Favorite Greek Myths. Scholastic, 1989.


Palatini, Margie. Sweet Tooth. Simon & Schuster, 2004.


Rockwell, Thomas. How to Eat Fried Worms. Yearling, 2006, c1973.


Sachar, Louis. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Morrow, 1978.


Shannon, David. A Bad Case of Stripes. Scholastic, 1998.


Smith, Robert Kimmell. Chocolate Fever. Putnam, 1989.


Swain, Ruth Freeman. How Sweet It Is (and Was): The History of Candy. Holiday House, 2003.

Critics have said

It is told with an engaging humor that boys and girls will instantly discover and approve.
The Saturday Review
It has proved a hilarious success with children.
New York Herald Tribune