Now, when I heard that there is a book, Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook, that features chocolate and happens to be written by Robbie Cheadle (with help from her son Michael), who has been a fabulous supporter of Linda’s Book Bag, I just had to feature it here.
Today, I’m reviewing Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook and have a lovely post from Robbie giving insight into how the book came about.
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook is available for purchase here.
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook
The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes.
Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem?
Five lovely new recipes are also included.
The Writing of Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook
A Guest Post by Robbie Cheadle
Michael and I like to bake and we have been reading together for most of his 11-year life. Michael likes to be read to but he is not as enthusiastic to read himself. To encourage him we now have a nightly habit of reading in tandem. I read one page and he reads the next. He usually only reads three or four complete pages but it is great practice for him and my reading helps move the story along at a quicker pace. If the book is good, I often read more to him.
The writing of Sir Chocolate was one of my endeavors to encourage Michael to read and write. Michael had this lovely idea about a little man made of chocolate who lives in Chocolate Land where you can eat everything. We started writing down various little stories together.
Our current book was a collaboration that included my niece, Emily. We were all on holiday at the coast together and the weather wasn’t great. One morning we were all sitting together drinking cocoa, made by my Dad with condensed milk, when the idea of a river of condensed milk popped up. The three of us sat down and wrote a story together about this idea and that became Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook.
Michael loves the trolls from Book 1: Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries story and cook book and so the troll family made a reappearance in Book 4. Emily was most concerned about the creatures that lived in the river and she introduced the ideas of the struggles of the fish and other water creatures in the book.
Later, after we had all returned home, Michael and I were making the illustrations for the book from cake, fondant and biscuits. The topic of a lady troll came up. I didn’t think you got lady trolls but Michael was quite certain you did. Who would be the mother otherwise? A most important question in Michael’s world. I thought trolls just appeared; like the giants in Roald Dahl’s story The BFG but apparently not. Lady trolls do exist and both Michael and my versions of Ma Troll made their way into our new book.
(And Michael is quite right Robbie!)
My Review of Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook
Books and chocolate – the perfect combination.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook, but it still took me by surprise.
Firstly, the illustrations (made from fondant and cakes) are incredible and enhance the narrative so skilfully. I got quite hungry just looking at the photographs and that was before I even got to the recipes.
I thought the rhyme scheme was very well maintained making the book good for slightly older reluctant readers as well as enhancing the vocabulary of younger readers. I don’t know if it was deliberate, but I really liked the concept of trolls saving the day. They are usually seen as negative and violent creatures and I felt the underlying message of being helpful and not judging others by appearances was perfectly pitched.
I really enjoyed the whole creativity of this book, not just from the imaginative story set in a land where all things can be eaten, but I loved the accessible recipes and the poem It’s A Boy, which came as a surprise and a more adult element to the book, too.
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook is a feel good, creative book that can be enjoyed on many levels by both adults and children of all ages alike.
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother emmigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available.
You’ll find all Robbie’s books here.