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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

(Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  110,740 ratings  ·  1,981 reviews
The beloved, bestselling tale of edible weather is brought to life!

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?
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1978)
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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.
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
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
While Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a fun romp, both the narrative and the illustrations show rather vividly how food can become a rather massive problem when it is uncontrollable or uncontrolled. The story 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 honey, where residents do not have to work and where food is not only readily available, but where fish, already cooked, swim in th ...more
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
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
Lisa 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 illu
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 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"!
Petra Eggs
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
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!
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.
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.
J.G. Keely
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book always made me a bit queasy.
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!

Heather Anderson
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kaden-s-books
My three-year-old couldn't quite keep up with the narrative of this adorable and imaginative children's book, but it's definitely one of my personal favorites. I might just use it to teach literary analysis with my 9th grade students!
Apr 24, 2014 added it
“Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs,” is a children's book written by Judi and Ron Barrett. The book started off with a family eating breakfast that morning. When grandpa flipped some pancakes onto the table where Henry and his sister sat, he accidentally landed one on Henry’s head. The night of the incident, grandpa had a great bedtime story that he told the kids. It was about a city named Chewandswallow. It was like all other cities except that the weather was what the people of the city ate fo ...more
Nicholas Walters
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was ok

I read “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett. This book was kind of weird. Every Saturday morning Grandpa would make pancakes for the family. Henry and the author loved pancakes. That morning was different though because the dog chased the cat into the kitchen and Grandpa sent a pancake flying and it landed on Henry’s head. That night Grandpa decided to tell a story that related to the pancake on Henry’s head. The town of Chewandswallow didn’t have food at the market. They had food
Zenia Rivera
This story begins with a family preparing for breakfast, a grandpa is making pancakes for his grandchildren and have a fun time making everything. Later on in that day the grandpa decided to tell his grandchildren a bedtime story about a place that was called Chewandswallow and how it was different from any other town ever. The difference about this town was its weather as it was no typical rain and snow, but the weather would be food. It came around every time when it was time to eat. There was ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I very much enjoyed reading "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," by Judi Barrett. This childhood book is about a grandpa who tells his two grandchildren a bed time story. The story the grandpa tells, happens to be the main story of the book. The food became so disgusting to eat, and people wouldn't leave there homes because the food was getting bigger. It would cover the streets or collapse buildings. Storms of all different food types destroyed everything it touched. I am not going to say what
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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
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