HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Author: Judi Barrett
Illustrator: Ronald Barrett
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, republished in 1982
ISBN-13: 978-0689306471 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0689306474 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0689707490 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0689707495 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Age Range: 4 – 8
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Barrett, Judi. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (published in 1978 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers). If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn’t it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you’d have no choice. What if you didn’t like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake? The tiny town of Chewandswallow is very much like any other tiny town except for its weather which comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it never rains rain and it never snows snow and it never blows just wind. It rains things like soup and juice. It snows things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blows in storms of hamburgers.
Life for the townspeople is delicious until the weather takes a turn for the worse. The food gets larger and larger and so do the portions. Chewandswallow is plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town is a mess and the people fear for their lives. Something must be done, and in a hurry. But what needs to be done? And who will do it? This absurd yet imaginative tall tale with its fabulously detailed drawings, both in black and white lines and lovely colored illustrations, bridges the generation gap by appealing to a child’s love of silliness and to an adult’s sense of humor. Author Judi Barrett, who teaches art to kindergarten students, has written many beloved books for children, including Pickles to Pittsburgh, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, and Santa from Cincinnati.