Title: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Author: Judi Barrett
Illustrator: Ron Barrett
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart, Ltd.
Number of Pages: 30
Pub. Date: 1978
Summary: The story starts out with a family eating breakfast and one of the pancakes accidentally hits the boy in the head, like it came from the sky. This incident inspired the best bedtime story there ever was. The bedtime story was about the town of Chewandswallow where everything was normal except for the weather. Instead of bringing precipitation, it brought food three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was great and normal for the people of the town until one day the weather took a turn for the worst. The food weather went out of control, bringing too much food or very strange combinations of it. The town was forced to move out of the town using large pieces of stale bread because they feared for their safety. They left Chewandswallow and moved to another town where they had to get used to getting their food from the market instead of the sky. That was the end of the bedtime story.
Critique: This imaginary element of food coming from the sky makes this story fall into the category of modern fantasy. The edible weather definitely makes this story a humorous fantasy. By presenting the story as a bedtime story it convinces the reader of the possibility of the improbable, food falling from the sky. This fantasy is very compelling and creates belief in the unbelievable while maintaining a balance between imagination and what we perceive. It also definitely made the fantastic element of the food weather believable throughout the entire story.
Response: The setting in my story is what makes the story come alive and is my favorite part of the book. The details about the kinds of foods that fell from the sky are so entertaining and really make the story come alive. I think my favorite scene of food is when a storm of giant pancakes comes down from the sky with a downpour of maple syrup. I think it’s just so funny to think about a pancake that could cover a school coming from the sky. Thinking of all the news reports that would be happening and the school closure due to giant pancake just makes me laugh.Assignment:
This is an assignment that focuses on learning what human needs are:
Students will listen to the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, focusing on what needs they
had and how their needs were met.
Students will list the needs of people in Chewandswallow.
Students will discuss how those needs were met.
Students will work in pairs to compare and contrast their own needs with those of the
people in the book. (Venn diagram)
Students will discuss how we meet our needs.