Hi, I’m, author Elizabeth Noble of Code Name Jack Rabbit and I’m your host for this stop in the Hunt.
If you would like to find out more about the Hunt, please click here.
Somewhere on this page is a hidden number. Collect all the numbers from all the authors’ posts, and then add them up. Once you’ve added all the numbers, and if I am your last author, please head to the official website and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form. Only entries will the correct number will qualify to win.
The author I’m pleased to be hosting for Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt today is Birgitte Rasine, author of The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree.
Hi everyone, this is Max. I’m eleven and I live in the Bay Area (San Francisco). I’m the big cheese in The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree. Oh, no, wait, I should say the “big chocolate!” because this is all about cacao! LOL!
So… Birgitte is my literary mom, and she’s super busy right now with the 123 game and the coloring book they’re making for the book. Yeah, seriously! I’ll tell you more about that later but I wanted to tell you about Itzel and me and our story.
Oh, and I should say first how it all happened. Well, my lit mom—Birgitte—she’s always cared about the environment and all that, and what happens to our forests and bees and oceans, so she thought she could make a difference if she joined all those non profits and went to conferences at the UN and stuff. She got pretty bored there. I mean, seriously, once they spent like TWO hours talking about bullet points. Yawn.
So anyway, she got really tired of all that and tried the whole business thing. She started her own company and helped people design better web sites to get their sustainability message out more. Can you tell how far that went? I mean, it was great and people loved her work and all that, but she still felt like she wasn’t really getting anywhere. I’m telling you. Adults just don’t get it!
Then she realized she was doing it all wrong. I mean, she’s a writer. An actual WRITER! An author! Wow. That’s really hard. But she’s good at it and so she decided to start telling stories instead.
Ok, so fast forward a few years… she published a bunch of stuff for adults and got awards and lots of really good adult reviews blah blah, but let’s get to the good part.
She’s a TOTAL foodie. She loves, loves, loves food. But good food. You know, the natural… umm, real stuff. And she’s a real mom, too, so that means she doesn’t want her little one to be growing up on all that junk. My mom and dad say the same thing by the way…! Do yours?
So she came up with this idea to do a series about the origins of food. And I’m the one! I’m the one who gets to go on all these adventures! Ok so now we’re at the good part. My dad is Dr. Hammond and he’s a really well-known bee researcher and he goes all over the world to study different bee-keeping cultures. Well, my mom—my actual mom, Jane—and I get to go with him. My friends at school are soooooooo jealous! J
In this first book, we go to Guatemala so my dad can study Melipona beecheii, the ancient stingless bees of the Maya. That. Is. Awesome. But even more awesome is that I got to meet Itzel—her dad is the Maya beekeeper my dad works with—and she became my best bud. Next to Luna, of course. Luna’s a hummingbird and my nagual… that’s like a spirit guide. Except she’s real, and we can communicate. Isn’t that awesome? Oh and there’s a black jaguar we talked to, too. Nearly scared the pants off me. Yeah the one you see on the cover. Here’s another picture of him:
And here’s a picture of me and Itzel:
You can see all the other awesome illustrations that Luba—the illustrator—did, here.
So anyway, Itzel told me about the Sacred Cacao Tree deep in the jungle, that’s like a thousand years old, and it’s twinned with the soul of the heir of Lord Cacao from Tikal. And the cacao pods of this tree hold the entire history of chocolate.
(I’m seriously not kidding. It’s crazy amazing. I thought science had it all figured out but there is this whole other layer to reality that’s so magical and beautiful and cool and most adults have zero clue about it. And it’s literally in front of them and around them all the time!)
We snuck up there one night to see the Elders do their ceremony. I was dying to see the cacao pods open. Except we kinda came a night too early and the Elders never showed up. So I convinced Itzel to do the ceremony herself and she did and… well the cacao pod opened and…
And that’s all I can tell you ‘coz you’ll have to read the book!
I soooo prefer science and fantasy to writing. Writing takes all this… TIME!
So are you going to come with me to Guatemala? Here are some links and stuff to get you all excited. Oh yeah, and the coloring book and the game will come out next year, so check those out too. Thanks guys!
The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree:
The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree Coloring Book
Oh and the “game”—Birgitte just told me that they can’t release the web site yet but if you want to be a beta tester, you get to play the game for free! It’s all about Mesoamerica and really fun. Send Birgitte an email and tell her you want to sign up for that: firstname.lastname@example.org
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