11 February 2007
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Author: Judi Barrett
Illustrator: Ron Barrett
A grandfather tells his grandchildren a bedtime story about a land called Chewandswallow where the weather rains soup and sunsets are made of jello. Life is grand until the wrath of mother nature is unleashed and the citizens of Chewandswallow are forced to flee their homeland. What began as the crazy musings of an old man quickly evolves into a harrowing tale of man vs. nature and of immigration and cultural assimilation. (For a more detailed account, see A Moveable Feast: The Mass Migration of Chewandswallow)
Reader Beware: This book has some truly disturbing illustrations. Mixed in with the sometimes awe-inspiring artwork (I particularly liked the hamburger storm clouds) the details of the illustration reveal an artist with a mischievously warped mind. For example, there is the picture of a terrified bird returning to the nest only to find that it has been smothered by a fried egg. Think about the implications of that for a second. In another particularly disturbing illustration, a sanitation truck has, what can only be described as baby heads mounted on the front bumper. Once you start noticing these things, the illustrations (which are rich with quirky little details) becomes a Where's Waldo of the surreal and macabre.