The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree

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The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree

Author: Birgitte Rasine

Page count: 332 pages (cover to cover)

Book description:

If you liked "The Golden Compass" and "The Chronicles of Narnia," be prepared to fall in love with mythic fantasy all over again. "The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree" pulls you into a mesmerizing world that blurs the lines between science, mythology, and the hidden magic of nature most adults find all but impossible. One of the world's authorities on chocolate, the C-Spot, calls the book "a strong contender for the best [chocolate] title in the last 5 years."

Synopsis: Max Hammond has a life other science-obsessed boys his age only dream of: he travels the world with his bee researcher dad and science writer mom.

When the Hammond family arrives in Guatemala to study the enigmatic stingless bees of the Maya, Max meets Itzel, a young Maya girl who introduces him to the magic and wonders of rainforest gardens and animal spirit guides. It’s a world that transforms the meaning of all the science Max has ever learned—but its magic is not always benevolent.

One night, Itzel takes Max to an ancient cacao tree tended in secret deep in the jungle by an elite group of Elders. Neither Max nor Itzel are prepared for the forces they unleash when they open the pods of the sacred tree, forces that turn everything they know about the history of cacao upside down, threaten the past and future of the world’s most desirable food, and, worse still, awaken two mythic beasts guarding the very DNA of cacao.

The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree is Book One of the "Max and the Code of Harvests" series.

Features: Includes 32 chapter illustrations and an appreciation by Dr. Allen Young, curator emeritus at the Milwaukee Public Museum and author of "The Chocolate Tree." A coloring book and an interactive game are all in the works for fans.

Author Bio:

Writer, journalist, poet, and producer, Birgitte Rasine is the creator of the well-known Mayan Calendar Portal community (@mayancalendarportal on Facebook and Instagram), aka the MCP. In her quest to make the sacred Mayan calendar more accessible to people everywhere, Birgitte consulted numerous Maya scholars including Ken Johnson and interviewed Don Rigoberto Itzep Chanchavac, a K’iche’ Maya Daykeeper in Guatemala. In addition to The Serpent and the Jaguar and its companion mobile app, MCP Mayan Tzolkin, Birgitte has produced numerous webinars and interviews about the Mayan Calendar and Mayan astrology, presenting to MCP audiences such experts and scholars as Kenneth Johnson, Dr. Robert Sitler, Maya author Gaspar Pedro González, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. 

Birgitte also serves as the Chief Evolution Officer (CEO) of LUCITÀ Inc., a hybrid design and communications firm committed to sustainability. She holds a BA in Aesthetics of Film from Stanford University, studied cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California, and completed a professional masters program in international relations at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain.