top of page

The Chocolate King

Author: Michael Leventhal

Recipe by Claudia Roden,

Illustrated by Laura Catalan




A historical tale about how chocolate first came to France in the 17th century.

Benjamin loves chocolate. He also knows a lot about it. But one person knows more - his grandfather Marco, otherwise known as the Chocolate King. Benjamin’s family arrive in France having escaped the Spanish Inquisition. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs and as many cocoa beans as they can carry. Read on to discover how the family teaches the French to love chocolate, and how Benjamin's chocolate catastrophe manages to connect the Chocolate King with the King of France!


The story gently teaches children about religious intolerance, immigration, and the positive influence refugees and immigrants can have on the dominant culture.


Beautifully illustrated throughout on glossy paper, with a foldout section on the making and history of chocolate. Includes Claudia Roden’s recipe for traditional Spanish hot chocolate. Any child from 6 years to 11 would enjoy this book.


About the Author

Michael Leventhal is the publisher of Greenhill Books and Green Bean Books. The Chocolate King is his first book for children and won a PJ Library Author Incentive Award. Previously he founded Gefiltefest, a Jewish food charity which organised Europe's biggest Jewish food festival. He is co-author of Jews in Britain and edited The Hand of History (illustrated by Chris Riddell). He eats a lot of chocolate and also compiled the Green Bean chocolate cookbook Babka, Boulou & Blintzes. You can see more of his work at

Laura Catalán has illustrated numerous fiction books and educational material for Spanish, UK and US publishing houses. Her picture books include Two Peas in a Pod, The Naughty Spectre and Daughter of the God Sülde.

NEW BOOK RELEASE     RRP: £10.99  ISBN: 9781784386740                             40 PAGES · HARDBACKPUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 2021     GREEN BEAN BOOKS

The Chocolate King

    bottom of page