Friday, December 29, 2006

Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The book has a simple but engaging premise - what if food rained down from the sky? Who wouldn't love that? I loved the book because of the way the author worked it out, and how life would be adapted to it. For instance, weather reports would become menus where you plan your meals based on what's predicted to come in. Restaurants would have no roofs so the food would just fall into your plate. Of course, like any good children's book, this fanciful tale turns dark and scary. It becomes a sort of careful-what-you-wish-for tale where the town gets crushed by gigantic hamburgers and floods of jelly-and-cream-cheese sandwiches. In the end, the people evacuate the town and build new homes out of stale bread. I found this book in a bookstore recently and realized how fun and creepy it really was, but also brought back a flood of memories. I especially liked the illustrations with little touches like sharks taking bites of peanut butter sandwiches.

Fun Facts:
* The town was called Chewandswallow. The book never described what country it was in, but it looked a lot like America.
* The book was written in 1978 by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett
* The author has written a sequel, Pickles To Pittsburgh which chronicles what's been happening in the town since it was abandoned. In the sequel, the people came back and started a company shipping free food to needy countries.
* Neither book explained why food would rain down from the sky.
* The book has been optioned for an animated movie, which I think would be awesome. A special effects extravaganza.

Links:
Not much besides Amazon.com. You can read an interview with her husband/illustrator Ron Barrett. Whatever.

2 comments:

Mauricem said...

Still great stuff. Excellent artwork too for a children's book. Quirky without being unrealistic. I like how the food kept getting larger until it went into the absurd. Great stuff. Thanks for the memories.

shark like a fox said...

ha i bought this book for my son before he was born along with every book Steven Kellog ever illustrated/wrote.

i want him to grow up well-booked.