Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the first books in a series about crazy food events in the sky. The rambling text may put off some younger readers, but kids and adults will enjoy the zany story and detailed illustrations. The book was adapted for an animated movie (and sequel), and the movie inspired a video game.
What's the story?
Hamburgers fall from the sky, as do scrambled eggs (with a side of toast) as do cherry pie and, you guessed it, meatballs. When the weather turns nasty, down rains a deluge of stinky gorgonzola, overcooked broccoli, and thick tomato sauce. Can Grandpa, Kate, and Henry find a way to deal with it?
Is it any good?
This story is a gratifying, if lightweight, dish of foolishness. It aims for laughs and gets them -- through sight gags for both kids and adults, the deadpan tones of an old-style weather forecast ("Dinner one night consisted of lamb chops, becoming heavy at times, with occasional ketchup"), and the sheer preposterousness of events. Don't look for hidden depths here; the story lives on the surface, and as slapstick it works just fine. It also has a bit of science fiction, too: Those giant T-bones could easily have come from a spaceship.
The lengthy text rambles at times, which can be a problem for some younger listeners, but the funny story and detailed illustrations will hold most kids' interest. The illustrations look like old-fashioned comic-strip drawings or something found in a turn-of-the-century magazine, with hectic line work and wealth of details.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about weird weather. What's the strangest weather you've ever experienced?
If weather really was food, what foods would you want to have fall from the sky?
How do you think the first movie adapation compares with the book?