Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

“Chill out and enjoy your chili that's not from Chile!”

Absolutely beautiful illustrations and an equally beautiful storyline. What makes this book even interesting is that it’s not written in a traditional narrative style, but rather in a comic-strip kind of way. This is a book that you and your child would want to go over and over and over again. This is one of Caela’s absolute faves. There is also a story within a story here, with Grandpa telling a night time story about a tiny town called Chewandswallow that is located across an ocean, over lots of huge bumpy mountains, three hot deserts and one smaller ocean. Pretty far, huh, as towns go.

What makes the town so special is that it never rained rain, it never snowed snow. And the fact that there are no foodstores at all in this little town. It’s because everything that the people ate come from the sky. It’s so beautiful looking at the wind blowing in storms of hamburgers, the entire town snarled with pasta raining from the sky, and of course orange juice, coffee and fried eggs for breakfast. All anyone needs to do is to go out under the open sky, bringing their forks, plates, and knives, and voila! You got a complete meal. And of course the weather report tells you whenever it might be cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Hence, you see little boys sipping orange juice from an upturned umbrella, pancakes falling down on the hood of a taxicab, and mustard clouds as dressing for frankfurter rolls blowing in from the northwest at five miles an hour.

The plot thickens however, when nature started pouring out more than its fair share of usual servings: with humungous pancakes covering an entire school, with matching sticky maple syrup flooding the entire area. Then of course there’s the tomato tornado and huge doughnuts littering the streets and corncobs destrying roofs of houses. The job was way too big for the Sanitation Department to handle, and so much as it pained the townsfolks, they needed to build rafts made from giant pieces of stale peanut butter sandwich and abandon Chewandswallow.

This has all the ingredients for a perfect evening tale with your little one: funny images of old women having their dentures fall off as they go grab coffee from the sky, very witty and original lines, and just plain fanciful imaginings. Happy eating-slash-reading!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Amazon | Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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