How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Rainforest


48 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-897066-78-3
DDC j577.34





Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Peccaries are wild pigs that travel through the jungle in huge herds
several hundred strong. Stinkbugs can make a nutritious snack. Some
birds weave antibiotic grasses into their nests to protect their
hatchlings from disease. These are just a few of the things in this book
that will undoubtedly fascinate young readers. Biologist Adrian Forsyth
has spent most of his career studying tropical rainforests around the

In the title chapter, for example, Forsyth explores the amazing
relationship between wild monkeys and cocoa trees. Nature has
ingeniously designed the cocoa nut so that it is irresistible to
monkeys; they love the sweet taste of the cocoa pod’s sap but spit out
the bitter seeds on the forest floor, which helps spread the cocoa
species to new parts of the rainforest. Other chapters include
“Rainforest Mysteries,” “Why Cherries Are Red,” “Bark That
Bites,” and “A Hard Nut to Crack.” Dozens of eye-catching
photographs help illustrate the storylines. Environmental concerns and
respect for the culture of indigenous rainforest peoples are strong
themes in this book.

Although many children’s books have been written about the
rainforest, this one presents many fresh new facts that readers of all
ages will enjoy learning about. Highly recommended.


Forsyth, Adrian., “How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Rainforest,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 10, 2023,