Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Favorite Children's Books #2: "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"

This is a feature I decided to start to share my favorite children's picture books. And I want to hear about your favorites too!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
written by Judi Barrett
drawn by Ron Barrett

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs movies, but did you know it was first a children's book? Even though this book was first published in 1978, I had never heard of it until I did a children's book swap on Craftster back in 2003-ish. I received this book from my partner and had to create some items for her based on the story. I only remember that I made her a wind chime out of a plastic bagel and plastic cutlery with jingle bells lol. And just now, when I was adding the Goodreads link above, I found out there are 2 more books in the same land! How cool.

This story kind of goes along with Rain Makes Applesauce...both are nonsense stories about food. Actually I just realized they both have weather too. I made a theme and I didn't even know it! Cloudy starts off with a normal family eating breakfast and when a pancake flip goes haywire, it sets off a story about a small town called Chewandswallow. Chewandswallow is a normal town in many respects, except for one very important detail. Their food does not come from the store but from the sky.

It never rained rain. It never snowed snow. And it never blew just wind. 
It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed mashed potatoes and green peas. 
And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers.

Everything is hunky dory until the weather turns nasty one day. There are maple syrup floods and giant meatball hail and tomato tornadoes. The sanitation department, usually so efficient with their giant scoopers and tupperware, can't keep up. The townsfolk decide they must leave and so they sail away on boats made of stale toast and pizza sails.

Rereading this just now, I was surprised that it differs so much from the movie. There is no scientist and the reason for the foodnomaly is never explained. I haven't seen the sequel yet, but I want to. The part with the "leek" in the boat makes me giggle every time I see the commercial. (In case you didn't know already, I'm basically a toddler!)

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