After flipping a pancake atop Henry's head, Grandpa spurred to tell his grandkids a story about the town of Chewandswallow. "The only thing that was really different about Chewandswallow was its weather. It came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner." In the ensuing illustrations, the citizens of the lucky city run and dive for frankfurters, spaghetti, and chicken wings, while walking to work or going about their day. "GAME CALLED ON ACCOUNT OF PIE," a baseball field scoreboard reads, with players sitting cross legged on the field digging into the pastry.
Unfortunately, the weather takes a turn for the worse. When pancakes fall from the sky, and a giant flapjack covers the entire school, classes are canceled. On other days, breakfast, lunch and dinner come in rainstorms of overcooked broccoli, or persistent fogs of pea soup. The weather becomes so uncontrollable, and often in the form of dangerously oversized foods, that the people are forced to abandon Chewandswallow (in boats made of oversized bread, bacon, and cheese).
This fantastical tale is supported best by its illustrations, with the real world shown in black and white, and Chewandswallow in full color. Read this aloud to your kiddos many times over before taking them to see the movie in September (the trailer of which can be found here: http://www.cloudywithachanceofmeatballs.com/). After reading the book, engage them in food and weather related activities. Children can forecast a day's diet using weather terminology.
Reviewed by CH.
Themes: FANTASY. FOOD. GRANDPARENTS. TALL TALES.
Suggested Ages: 6 and Up