Grab a book and serve up some yummy hot chocolate with marshmallows before you snuggle in to read a story with your kiddos. This would be fun to do on a chilly day or right after the kids come in from playing outside in the snow.
Make use of a “hot chocolate” theme and read a book about the history of chocolate together. Or read a book where the characters enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and ask your child to watch for it during the story. But most importantly, just have fun and enjoy this sweet time together.
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Here are some ideas of books that you can read together if you want to do a theme and make a connection with hot chocolate (or hot cocoa, as you may call it), or just chocolate in general.
And if you are interested in adding a little more to your hot chocolate theme, you can snag these alphabet cards from my Etsy shop. They are great for using as a guide for writing, especially with a salt tray, or practicing the letter sounds.
Books That Include a Cup of Delicious Hot Chocolate in the Story
Blizzard by John Rocco
“Blizzard is based on John Rocco’s childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy’s excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood’s immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy’s expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.”
Rain by Sam Usher
“Sam wants to go out, but it’s pouring rain, so Granddad says they need to stay inside until the rain stops. Sam drinks hot chocolate and reads his books and dreams of adventures while Granddad does some paperwork. When Granddad needs to mail his letter, it’s time to go out—despite the rain and floods—and Sam and Granddad have a magical adventure. The follow-up to the acclaimed Snow, this is the second title in a four-book series based on the weather from creator Sam Usher.”
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
1986 Caldecott Medal Winner
“A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic.”
A Hot Cup of Chocolate by Rose Stanley
“In Johan’s world, he thinks that most problems can be solved by drinking a ‘magical’ cup of hot chocolate. Johan befriends Henry who has problems at home. Written for those in stable family settings, this book demonstrates the dilemmas that some children face and explains why they might need to talk to someone.”
Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate by Carol Diggory Shields
“A weekend visit between a child and his grandfather reveals their similar likes and dislikes through whimsical watercolor illustrations and a breezy text by the author of Lunch Money.”
My Mommy Medicine by Edwidge Danticat
“My Mommy Medicine is a picture book about the comfort and love a mama offers when her child isn’t feeling well, from renowned author Edwidge Danticat.
Whenever I am sick,
Or just feel kind of gloomy or sad,
I can always count on my Mommy Medicine.
When a child wakes up feeling sick, she is treated to a good dose of Mommy Medicine. Her remedy includes a yummy cup of hot chocolate; a cozy, bubble-filled bath time; and unlimited snuggles and cuddles. Mommy Medicine can heal all woes and make any day the BEST day!
Award-winning memoirist Edwidge Danticat’s rich and lyrical text envelops the reader in the security of a mother’s love, and debut artist Shannon Wright’s vibrant art infuses the story with even more warmth.”
Books About the History of Chocolate & How It’s Made
The Sweet Story of Hot Chocolate by Stephen Krensky
“Did you know that for thousands of years, chocolate was a beverage and not a solid candy? Or that soldiers in the Revolutionary War received a monthly ration of chocolate for drinking? Learn all about the history of America’s favorite wintertime treat in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read!
A special section at the back of the book includes relevant info on subjects like social studies and science, and there’s even a fun quiz so you can test yourself to see what you’ve learned!”
Chocolate: A Sweet History by Sandra Markle
“Smart About Chocolate is “chock-full” of fun facts about the history of chocolate, from the Mayans to Milton Hershey! Kids will learn how chocolate comes from beans of the rain forest’s cacao trees and how candymakers in England and Switzerland first produced the chocolate we know and love today. Includes recipes and recommendations of classic books about chocolate.”
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young
“Everyone loves chocolate, right? But how many people actually know where chocolate comes from? How it’s made? Or that monkeys do their part to help this delicious sweet exist?
This delectable dessert comes from cocoa beans, which grow on cocoa trees in tropical rain forests. But those trees couldn’t survive without the help of a menagerie of rain forest critters: a pollen-sucking midge, an aphid-munching anole lizard, brain-eating coffin fly maggots—they all pitch in to help the cocoa tree survive. A secondary layer of text delves deeper into statements such as “Cocoa flowers can’t bloom without cocoa leaves . . . and maggots,” explaining the interdependence of the plants and animals in the tropical rain forests. Two wise-cracking bookworms appear on every page, adding humor and further commentary, making this book accessible to readers of different ages and reading levels.”
The Story of Chocolate by Katie Daynes (Usborne Young Reading)
“The fascinating history of chocolate, from its origins in the rainforests of Central America to shops and factories everywhere. Written as part of the Usborne Young Reading Programme, designed for children just beginning to read.”
Make learning the alphabet and writing practice even more fun with a chocolate scented salt tray. Your child will love the smell and the feel as they develop important skills to become a successful reader. All you have to do is add a little cocoa powder to the salt! Here are some more ideas from All About Reading on using salt trays.
Enjoy the warmth of the snuggles and all the memories shared together!
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