Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|September 14, 1978|
|Followed by||'Pickles to Pittsburgh'|
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an American children's book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. It was first published in 1978 by the Simon & Schuster imprint Atheneum Books, followed by a 1982 trade paperback edition from sister company Aladdin Paperbacks. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.
A sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, was published in 2000 by Atheneum Books; a hardcover edition followed in 2009. A second sequel, Planet of the Pies, was published on August 27, 2013.
The book details a bedtime story narrated by a grandfather to his grandchildren, chronicling the daily lives of the citizens of an unordinary town called Chewandswallow characterized by its strange daily meteorological pattern that provides the townsfolk with all of their required daily meals by raining food. Although the residents of the town enjoy a lifestyle devoid of any grocery shopping or cookery, the weather unexpectedly and inexplicably takes a turn for the worse, devastating the local community with destructive and uncontrollable storms of either unpleasant or dangerously oversized foods, resulting in unstoppable catastrophes for the townspeople. Their lives endangered by the threats of the storms, they relocate to a different community of normal non-edible meteorological patterns, safe from the hazards that once were presented by raining meals. However, they are forced to learn how to obtain food the normal way.
The following morning, the man's grandchildren awaken to discover snowfall. After bundling up and hurrying outside to play, the granddaughter, in first-person narration, describes the scent of mashed potatoes detected while romping with her brother, implying that the grandfather's story might not be purely fictitious.
The follow up to the story, Pickles to Pittsburgh, tells of the kids receiving a postcard from their grandfather, who claims to be visiting the ruins of what was once the fabled town of Chewandswallow. The kids then go to sleep and dream that they are there with him, helping to rebuild the post-apocalyptic landscape and restore it to where it is livable again, as well as giving the massive amounts of food away to poverty-stricken developing nations and homeless shelters around the world. This proves to be difficult, as there could be more food storms on the way.
A third book in the series, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies, was released on August 27, 2013.
On September 18, 2009, Sony Pictures Animation released an animated film adaptation of the book, and the DVD was released on January 5, 2010. A new cast of characters were created for plot development, while the synopsis was changed from food falling from skies to being made from a machine. Bill Hader and Anna Faris provided the voices of the two lead characters. Hader voices Flint Lockwood, "a young inventor who dreams of creating something that will improve everyone's life." Faris provides the voice for Samantha "Sam" Sparks, "a weathergirl covering the caution who hides her intelligence behind a perky exterior." James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Al Roker, Lauren Graham, and Will Forte are also on the voice cast. Co-writers and co-directors Philip Lord and Chris Miller said that it would be a homage to, and a parody of, disaster movies such as Twister, Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.
Unlike the book where a grandfather tells his two grandchildren a bedtime story about Chewandswallow, an inventor named Flint Lockwood invents a machine that has regular weather going into it and then having food weather going out of it and having the food weather spreading all over the world, but soon it starts taking a turn for the worse. A sequel to the film, titled Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, was released on September 27, 2013, however, it is based on an original idea, and not Pickles to Pittsburgh.
In conjunction with the September 18, 2009 film release, Ubisoft released a game for Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, and Xbox 360, as well as a stereoscopic online mini game.
- Scholastic.com: "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Discussion Guide for Reading the Story"
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies: Judi Barrett, Isidre Mones: 9781442490277: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- Siegel, Tatiana. "Hader, Faris spice up 'Meatballs'; Caan, Samberg, Mr. T round out 3-D project". Variety. September 18, 2008.
- Lee, Patrick (2006-08-16). "Meatballs Spoofs Disaster Flicks". SCI FI Wire. Archived from the original on August 21, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-05.