Children's Book Review: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

cloudy with a chance of meatballs by judi barrettResidents of the town of Chewandswallow have no need for grocery stores...or restaurants, for that matter. Their food appears from the sky - at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Orange juice showers, frankfurter winds, pea soup fog, and storms of pancakes...this is typical "weather" for the small town.

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" by Judi Barrett {Aladdin Paperbacks, 1978} is a wacky and highly-acclaimed tale that is narrated by a girl of about ten years old. She and her brother presumably live with their single mom and their grandpa. The Grandpa tucks the two kids in one night and tells them the tale of Chewandswallow - and they listen with wide-eyed interest and amazement.

Overall, the illustrations are zany and detailed (they remind me quite a bit of the illustrations in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...). The text is equally silly. And the story stretches the imagination. The back cover lists "ages 9-11" as the target audience, but my 2-year-old enjoys reading it too (In fact, she asked to read it tonight at bedtime).

P.S. Sony Pictures is coming out with an animated movie based on the "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." It will be in theaters on September 18.

WIN IT! One winner will receive a copy of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" by Judi Barrett ($6.99). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Sunday, August 2 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #9 Susan Cox. Congratulations!

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106 comments on “Children's Book Review: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”

  1. I know I'm too late to enter, which doesn't matter because I already own this, because I loved it so much growing up! I have been on a quest lately to find all my old Reading Rainbow favorites. I'm happy to see that so many other people like it too!

  2. I heard rave reviews about this book from my husbands coworker. He also mentioned a book about cats falling from the sky... will have to look that up to remember it.

  3. I have never read this one. I love the title.. just that would have me picking it up if I saw it in the bookstore :)

  4. I LOVED this book when I was a kid! Can't wait to take my kids to the movie, and would love to have the book too!

  5. I love children's book that stretch imaginations and encourage fantasy play. This sounds like a winner! Plus it would be fun to read before the movie comes out. Thanks so much!

  6. I would like to win this for my daughter and twin sons! They are looking for a good book to read!

  7. I'd love to win this book for my son, we have been waiting for the movie for a long time now, it looks great cause it's 3D and the food is giant!

  8. I saw the trailer to the movie version of this book recently--It looks STRANGE! (Pancakes and other assorted foods were smooshing an entire town!) I would love to read the book and see the movie.

  9. Although it looks like most of your readers have heard of this book before, I have not, but would love to read it to my little ones.

  10. It is good to see a book that was written many years ago still being read by today's generation. Thank you

  11. I have never heard of this book, but I love the title. My daughter would probably love it too. macd82 at gmail dot com

  12. Cute name for a book! I would love to come up with something creative like that! My daughter loves silly, fun books like this. I will have to get this from the library!!

  13. I would love a copy of this for my younger kids. I remember reading this to my oldest. He was actually the one to tell me about the upcoming movie for it.

  14. I had never heard of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs book until the movie was advertised. I am sure my children would love to add this to our bedtime story collection!

  15. i remember my teacher reading this book to us in the 3rd grade! i would love to share it with my boys!
    allison/dot/wheeler/at/att/dot/net

  16. My children have been watching this movie preview at home over and over again. They cannot wait for the movie to come out. I am sure they would love to have this book as well.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

  17. I loved this book as a kid as have my older 3 kids. I would love a copy to share with my 2 year old son. This book is a classic children's book.

  18. I saw the preview for this before the movie UP (which was awesome) This looks very good to. I know my nephew would love the book.

    jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

  19. Your description of the book - zany illustrations and silly text - remind me of some of my favorite books - the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant. I think books like this are so much fun and a great way to get kids hooked on reading.

  20. I would love to get this book. It was one of my my husband remembered but I had never heard of it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. I've never read the book, but I saw the trailer for the movie and it looks wonderful! Also, it comes out on my birthday! My nieces would love this book, thanks for the contests!

  22. My husband and I just saw Harry Potter in the theater, and one of the previews was for the movie version of this book. I'd never heard of it, but my husband raved about it and was so excited. It would be fun for him to read this to our girls.

  23. I am currently studying to be a librarian and this is not one I have read yet and I would love to read it to my daughter. I am always on the lookout for new authors with interesting stories to read.

  24. I have been an avid book reader my whole life, and although I have unbelievably never read this, I have heard of it many times and would love to sit down and read it to my son.

    Thank you.

  25. I remember this book from when I was a kid. It's a good story with silly pictures and a silly theme. The upcoming movie deviates substantially from the book, but looks like it could be fun. I couldn't imagine trying to stretch this book as it is into a full-length movie. I'm pretty sure my daughter would appreciate this - she's turning into quite the reader and this looks right about her speed. Thanks for bringing back some memories. :)

  26. My grandson would love this book. I try to find fun and interesting books to read with him.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. I loved this book as a kid and had forgotten all about it. We sing "On top of spaghetti" all the time and this would fit as a great follow up.

  28. I have never heard of this book before but coming from an Italian family - I think we need a copy for us!

  29. Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs is, no joke, my all time favorite children's book. I was so excited to start reading it to my kids and now it's one of their favorite books. They are dying to see the movie!

  30. I just saw a girl explaining this book to her mom at Barnes and Noble and the mom was looking so very puzzled! I sort of wandered in to their conversation, unasked, and told the mom how awesome the book is. I could totally use another copy. Books are such awesome gifts for little ones!

  31. I remember reading this book when I was little. I don't own a copy of it anymore :( I can't wait for the movie to come out!

  32. When I found out they were making this a movie I went to the library to check it out and read it again. My daughter loved it. We would love to have a copy of our own! Wouldn't it be neat if it really rained Meatballs! Would save on dinners!

  33. I would love the chance to read this book to my kids. I think i remember reading it when I was little
    Liz

  34. That sounds like a cute book. Mikayla would love it. She is now getting to the age where she will ask or tell me "Mommy, orange juice does not fall from the sky?" "How does that happen?"

  35. Im so excited a movie about the book (hoping its G)- I think my son would love to go- I remember having this book in the classroom in 1st grade and now he and I look at the clouds and look for cheeseburgers=)

  36. I would love to win this for my 7yr old granddaughter it sounds like the kind of story we would like to share at bedtime. Also thank you for letting us know about the movie it also sounds like something she and grandpa would like to see. I do the books , grandpa does the movies *S*

  37. I remember this form when I was a kid -- adding it to the "must buy" list. I find most moms have some weakness that they just can't resist buying their kids -- for some its clotes, shoes, hats or stuffed animals -- for me its books. I have always loved books and by giving my daughter a fully stocked library of all the books I loved as a kid, I hope she grows to love them as much as I did and still do.

  38. Can always use more books! Have not read this one, but I love Alexander - mainly as I am from Australia

  39. My friend and I were just at the library together this week and she found this book and told me that it was a good read. I've heard something about the movie too somewhere. I'm thinking I would like it if dinner would just fall from the sky. Certainly would save me some time and thought.

  40. This looks like a zany book. I wish donuts would rain down from the sky right about now. Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. We could use a new book for a change. I have recently become a home body like you :).....so we haven't been to the library as often as we are used to going. Our books are getting a bit old.

  42. That was one of my favorites! I also enjoyed the Alexander books, especially the part when he got the gum stuck in his hair.

  43. My daughter loved that book when she was young and I'd love to have a copy for my new little nephew.

  44. I just saw the trailer for that movie a few days ago, and thought that I'd love to read the book. The idea is creative, and I'm glad they also look at some of the possible downsides to food falling from the sky. :) Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I know what would be included in my daughter's nightly prayers...

  45. This looks like a good one. I'm always excited to find out about new and wonderful children's books. Some of my most special childhood memories involve books. Needless to say, it makes me pleased as punch that Levi loves for me to read to him.

  46. I just saw the preview for this movie this past week...I didn't know it was a book until I read this post! It sounds like we need to add this book to our must read list and then go see the movie for fun.

  47. My niece would love this book! Chewandswallow sounds just like a town she would come up with in her imagination! Thanks!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  48. I love book like these! They make it fun for both my and my child to read.

    BTW...My son loves Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

  49. i think i might have to get this one from the library too. i'm not too crazy about the movie by the trailer but usually the books are better. thanks for the review!

  50. We have a book full of chapter-long "samples" from various stories. One of them that I read to my children at bedtime recently was from this story. They are ages 5 and 3. My 5yo daughter was absolutely laughing her head off at the various descriptions of food raining from the sky, and my 3yo was definitely entertained as well. I don't know why I haven't gone out to get the whole book myself, yet! Sure seems like it will be a winner. :)

  51. I think it was honors english, probably sophomore year, and Joanna read this book to our class. I can't remember what the assignment was... maybe just reading our favorite children's stories. I love this book. And already, one of our favorite family time activities is reading aloud!

  52. My kids loved this book when they were little. I'd love a copy for my daycare kids. They are excited about seeing the movie.

  53. I want to read this so badly! Saw the trailer for the movie and realized i missed out on a great book when I was younger haha

  54. My daughter has actually been asking about this book. I had never heard of, but it must be very popular if they are making a movie about it.

    My oldest 2 love to read (they are 7 and 9). Their new favorites are the Magic Tree House books. I am sure they would both love this one. I will have to get them to read before seeing the movie (the book is always better!).

  55. I was introduced to this book when I was teaching 2nd grade. Later, I became a 5th grade teacher and found that my older students enjoyed it as well! It went great with my "weather" unit and I was able to create projects using the book.

  56. I have never heard of this book before, but it sounds hilarious, and something that my three kids would really get a kick out of.

  57. Don't include me, because we have a few copies of CWACOM already, but I LOVE this book. I remember reading it all the time growing up and it was one of the first books my sister bought for Max when I discovered I was pregnant. We cannot wait for the movie!

  58. My nephews and nieces are always bringing books over to the adults in their lives to read to them. This sounds like one they would want to read over and over.

  59. I adored this book as a child and would love the chance to share it with my 3 yr. old. I think it would fast become a favourite!

  60. This is an all time favorite of ours! We love the Chewandswallow town and when the weather goes all haywire ~ it is just so much fun! I wonder how the movie will be...

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