Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Quick Rundown:
Author: Judi Barrett
Illustrator: Ron Barrett
Grades: PK-3
Blurb: “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?”

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs cover

About: As you can see from the cover, this is a popular book; I’m tagging it as a classic.
This is a story about the town of Chewandswallow. You could say it is like most towns you know, except for one small difference. This town’s weather comes around three times a day, which happens to be around mealtimes. The weather is the townspeople’s meals. They would carry with them their silverware, plates, napkins, or anything else they may need so that they were always prepared. Leftovers could be taken home as a snack between meals. The town had its own sanitation department that came around and scooped up food that wasn’t eaten. This included food on houses, lawns, and sidewalks.
One day, things went wrong. The town got tied up by spaghetti and after that, each day gradually got worse. One day, there was only broccoli that came down, and another day there was pea soup fog! Over time, the food started getting larger, so large that a pancake covered the whole school. It got so bad the townspeople had to think about survival. They had to abandon the town. How are they going to getaway? Read to find out!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs excerpt

Discussion Questions:
-How was Chewandswallow different than where we live?
-What do you think it would be like to live in Chewandswallow?
-What would you want to eat from the sky?
-How would you describe the townspeople at the end of the story?

Activities to try with the book:
-Forecast: Create a weekly forecast for the town of Chewandswallow.
Recycle: If food going bad wasn’t an issue, how would you reuse or recycle it? For example, I might use a ginormous slide of bread as a wall and if there were enough of them I could build a new building.
Soil and composting: The book mentions that the sanitation department puts the food “back into the earth so that the soil would be richer…” Talk about composting or start composting at home. How does this help the soil?
Writing Prompt: Write the article that goes with the headline “Spaghetti Ties Up Town” in the book.

More books by Judi Barrett:
-Pickles to Pittsburgh (Sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs)
-Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
-Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies
-Santa from Cincinnati
-Never Take a Shark to the Dentist
-The Things that are Most In the World


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