Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Wiki
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (book)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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.

From Simon & Schuster publishing:

An imaginative story of amazing food weather that inspired the hit movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a favorite of grown-ups and children everywhere.

The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town—except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers.

Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town was a mess and the people feared for their lives.

Something had to be done, and in a hurry.

A sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, was published in 2000 by Atheneum Books; a hardcover edition followed in 2009.

A cookbook special, Grandpa's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Cookbook, was released with a variety of fabulous cooking ideas.

A Third Installment in the 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' book series was released as: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3, Planet of the Pies.


Cloudybook inside bedtimestory

Grandpa telling Henry and his granddaughter (the narrator) the story of Chewandswallow

The book details a bedtime story narrated by a grandfather to his grandchildren, Henry and his younger sister, 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 worst, 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 average 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.


One of author Judi Barrett's earliest ideas for the book was one sentence: "Henry walked outside and got hit in the head with a meatball."[1] Acting on that idea, she began to list food that could also work as weather, including nods to eating habits she had as a child, such as lamb chops with peas and ketchup.

The illustrations by Ron Barrett were created in pen and ink with "tiny, tiny" nibs for the fine details.[1] The level of detail added a sense of realism to the town of Chewandswallow, allowing parents and children to find new details with every read.

The Grandpa is designed after Ron Barrett's uncle Eli.[1]