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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

(Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  133,613 ratings  ·  2,290 reviews
An imaginative story of amazing food weather that inspired the hit movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a favorite of grown-ups and children everywhere.

The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town—except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it ne
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 1978)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
In case you're wondering, I'm doing everything I can so I don't go back to the Crooked Kingdom. :D


Again, I didn't know this is a book. I've seen both animated movies and I liked them. This is a slightly different story, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

We have a very nice grandpa telling his two nephews the story of the city of Chewandswallow, a city where people don't buy food at the store. The food just comes down from the sky instead of rain or snow.
Spencer Orey
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Great illustrations of a town getting absolutely wrecked by food and people sailing away on boats made of giant stale bread.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is a cult classic children’s book by Judi Barrett along with illustrations by Ron Barrett and it is about a magical town called Chewandswallow (chew and swallow, get it?) where food just falls from the sky and provides people with everything they need. But what happens when there is too much food falling from the sky? “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is definitely one unusual and creative book ever created for children!

Judi Barrett has certainly done an exc
While Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is of course first and foremost simply a fun romp, both Judi Barret’s narrative and Ron Barrett’s accompanying artwork also manage to convey rather vividly how food can become a rather massive problem when it is uncontrollable or uncontrolled. And in my humble opinion, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs actually seems to combine two European folklore traditions, the legend of the Land of Cockaigne, the so-called Schlaraffenland, a utopian land of milk and h ...more
I saw previews for this movie and it seemed to ever-loving stupid to me. Still, I gave the book a chance and it was amazing. The idea is so fresh and new and unusual and strange. Why hasn't someone thought of this before now? The story is told as a bed time tale of a long time ago in a land far away. In this land, food falls from the sky. That sounds so messy. Being drenched in butter or soda so horrible.

Still the art was amazing and the story inspired my imagination. Anything is possible in the
Nov 02, 2007 added it
OK, this was really my favorite book for most of my childhood. I would pretend to read it before I could actually read (I had simply memorized it from hearing it so many times) and I remember feeling sooo guilty about all the praise I got for being such a good reader at such an early age. Man alive! Really, I think my love for this book stemmed from the fact that I was a deprived child. Well, I suppose I was never deprived of health food like oatmeal and tofu, but I only got white bread with swe ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Oh, I just loved this book. The irony. I think this book hadn’t appealed to me that much because of the meatballs. Even though I like premises that are silly. First, I assumed the story would be all about meatballs but it was actually about all sorts of foods, and the main story is also actually a story within a story, and that worked really well. Also, in the back author bio section, the illustrator’s blurb in my edition says: “Mr. Barrett says his drawing of meatballs in no way endorses their ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I know I read this as a kid but for some reason it didn't leave me with a big "lasting impression" or any sort of feeling I could really latch onto when I thought about the book as an adult. So, I came to it fresh, in a way. And I was MAJOR impressed! The story is so much fun, so imaginative and hilarious (and a tad scary at times!) and it's the best sort of tall-tale, causing our minds to boggle even as we realize maybe some of it could have shadows of truth in the real world. It might even cau ...more
Theresa Marsala
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
As one of my favorite books when I was a little girl~ I revisit this book every few years to see if it still holds up to what I remembered & loved.
And It is still in my top 5 Favorite books of all time! The story is cute & endearing while being silly & playfully semi-serious at the same time. Plus the illustrations are just flat out amazing. Even after all these years of art enhancements & the digital art age~I still think this extremely detail-oriented cross hatch style of illustration is gorg
The movie adaptation is wonderful and so is this book. I loved the illustrations!
Although the plot is very plain and childlike (that's why it is a children's book) yet I loved it.
I wish there were a place like Chewandswallow. :P
Petra X is feeling very sad
I loved this book. The artwork is wonderful and the way the text is so dry and matter-of-fact is so funny. I can't wait to see the film. ...more
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mother nature cooks up a storm, literally, in this madcap story with plenty of silliness to go around.

Ages 4-10

The town of Chewandswallow has some wild weather, bringing meals like burgers, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and of course meatballs three times a day. Then, things start to go crazy and odd things start happening, like an entire day of just gargonzola cheese and eventually a "tomato tornado" and the poor sanitation department could no longer keep up. This book uses such fun language to d
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Children Who Enjoy Humorous Picture-Books
When a breakfast mishap ends with pancake all over Henry's face, Grandpa is inspired to tell the story of the small town of Chewandswallow (located "Across an ocean, over lots of huge bumpy mountains, across three hot deserts, and one smaller ocean"), where all of the residents' food needs were once provided for by the local weather. Whether it was raining soup or snowing mashed potatoes, there was always plenty to eat. But as the weather became more and more extreme - nothing but stinky gorgonz ...more
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
My daughter came home all excited about reading this book in school today. My son then chimed in and I soon had two children dancing around my kitchen telling me all about this book and laughing hysterically. I supposed I should read it myself before I recommend it, but my children definately gave it "two thumbs up"! ...more
Crystal Marcos
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is one of my favorite books. I read it again tonight and realized it is now 32 years old. It could have been written yesterday. It has stood the test of time. I believe years from now I will still have the same thoughts. This book holds a special place in my heart because it is a book I shared with my 2 sisters and 2 brothers. I think most little boys and girls love stories in the larger-than-life category and of course it helps that it has to do with food. Who ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We read to our children often when they were little, 20 some years ago. We picked this one up by chance, and I have to say, from the moment we first opened the pages it has stuck with not just me, but them as well.

What a fabulously creative book, one that opened little imaginations wide. Wonderful prose, and illustrations that took that imagination for a ride.

We later watched the movie together as this was *the* favorite book in our house. It was fairly disappointing. Do yourself and your chil
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is my favorite picture book. Even as a teenager, I'd hunt his book up from time to time to make sure I'd memorized all the lines correctly.

This story reads exactly like all stories told by your grandfather are supposed to. The ones where, as a kid, you keep saying 'really!', then try to verify everything via grandma, who then yells at grandpa for filling your head with nonsense.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Very cute story with a different story inside. I can see why the kids like it. It is yummy!
Andd Becker
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This reading level two book has originality.
Captivating story and detailed illustrations
create a superb story-within-a-story.

Adult and child readers can discuss
additional vocabulary:
meteorologist, climate change,
excessive, helicopter, teamwork,
sailboat, and destination.
J.G. Keely
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book always made me a bit queasy.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
You know you're in a wealthy society when kids read about the sky raining food. Aside from this obnoxious premise, a highly creative, surprising story. Kudos to Barrett for including composting. ...more
Carl Koch
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" by Judi Barrett. The story is narrated by grandpa to his grandkids. He tells of a far off land called Chewandswallow. There all the weather is food. It snows mashed potatoes, rains soup, and accounts for the townspeople's three meals of the day. Life in Chewandswallow is good until the weather takes a turn for the worst. The portions are getting bigger and so is the food. It finally gets so bad the the townspeople have to make boats out of stale bread a ...more
Sarah Sammis
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Back in January I wrote a review of the film version of Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs and I promised a longer review of the book by Judi Barrett. I apologize for the delay. I really don't know where the time as gone!

The book has a framing story that begins with a mishap during breakfast. The grandfather is inspired and tells the children about a place called Chewandswallow where the weather brings food three times a day. Except near the end of the town's existence, the food gets too big and s
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading to their children
A great story - tells not only a fascinating tall tale about the town of Chewandswallow, but also talks about the closeness of extended family. Who doesn't love a story about Grandpa's tall tales? Our oldest loves this tale and we've read it a couple of times.

This story was selected as one of the books for the June 2010 - Culinary Delights reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My son (10 years old) was so excited when I brought this book home from the library to read and discuss with an online group. "That's the best picture book ever!" he exclaimed. "But it's nothing like the movie." And even though he's proud to be a tween and considers himself practically grown up, he grabbed the book out of my hands to read it again.

It is an excellent story, very imaginative. I loved the setting - a grandfather telling his grandchildren a tall tale that kept their imaginations goi
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Imagine if you lived in a town that only rained food and never rained rain! This story takes weather to a whole new level as readers giggle their way through the climate of one particular town. All is dandy until the townspeople starts to notice weird arrangements of foods storming in. Brussels sprouts with peanut butter? Loads and loads of broccoli? Really? The best part of the book, in my opinion, is looking at the imaginative illustrations. Not only to they make me laugh out loud, but they ge ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A very imaginative story! If I wanted food to fall from the sky, what would it be? That would be a nice exercise for kids who read the book. The sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, wasn't nearly as good. This one, though, is a winner. ...more
I mean, it's a cute book, but it's so silly. I guess that would be what makes kids like it so much? But for me, it was boring. We never find out why the weather went haywire.
3.5 🌟

I remember that there was a movie by the same name & apparently it's based on this book. It's about a bedtime story told by a grandfather to his two grandchildren inspired by an event that happened during breakfast that morning. The illustration is really pretty & a story about food will always make you hungry so be prepared!

Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-over-over
One of my kids' all-time favorites. By far and away the Barrett's best book. Ron Barrett's wonderful illustrations remind me of the work of Canadian humorist Bruce McCall - both are masters of
treating bizarre subject matter with a perfectly straight face. One for the read-over-and-over shelf.
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Judi Barrett is the author of many well-loved books for children, including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Pickles to Pittsburgh, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, and Things That Are Most in the World. She teaches art to kindergarten students at a school in her Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood. And she usually doesn't mind going to the dentist!

Other books in the series

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3 books)
  • Pickles to Pittsburgh (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, #2)
  • Planet of the Pies (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, #3)

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