noodling around with grandpa’s cloudy with a chance of meatballs cookbook by judi barrett and ron barrett


Let’s check the weather report to see what’s on today’s menu.

I hope we’re not getting any hamburger storms or pea soup fog. I wouldn’t mind a little drizzle of orange juice, followed by a few low clouds of sunny-side up eggs with lightly browned pieces of toast drifting in from the east. If you see any cream cheese and jelly sandwiches out your way, don’t eat too many or you’ll get a tummy ache.

I twirled my spaghetti with glee when I learned that my favorite meatball maven Judi Barrett had published a brand new cookbook containing some of Grandpa’s favorite recipes. Now, you and any nibble-happy munchkins hanging out at your house can create your very own culinary weather!

As you know, the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs book starts out with Grandpa flipping pancakes on Saturday morning. So it’s only right that the first recipe in the cookbook should be for these very same pancakes, which taste just as good any day of the week, any time of day. Flipping them onto someone’s head, however, is entirely up to you.

Thanks to Ron Barrett’s wacky, giggle-inducing illustrations (alone worth the price of admission), familiar and potentially ho-hum recipes acquire fresh appeal and allure. He had me at the Table of Contents, where I could feast on all 25 Chewandswallow faves at once:

Pretty cool, no? Once moving past Grandpa’s Rules and Tools, with adult supervision kids can try their hand at Pie-less Pizza, Noodlehead Noodles, Strawberry Tallcake, Broccoli Tree Salad, and Chili, Not Chilly.

Who could resist a Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie, a Spaghetti Twister with a Tomato Tornado, or a Milky Maple Soda? Remember when the people of Chewandswallow built temporary houses with their bread rafts?

Cornelius made his own toasty bread house.

Wondering about the meatballs? Make some square ones for a change so they don’t roll off your plate (cloudy with a chance of meatcubes!). With a color photo of each finished dish plus clever quips and spot illos, the recipes are almost as fun to read as they are to make.

I love this cheese guy. I really need to find a big slice of bread to lie on.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I browse through this scrumptious spiral-bound book, I find myself wanting to act out Ron Barrett’s pictures. Love how he’s captured the ebullient spirit and stretch-your-imagination-to-the-limit impetus of the Cloudy stories with his trademark energy and humor. Did he use watercolors this time around? Who knows? The copyright page says, “The illustrations for this book are rendered in tomato sauce.” 😀





Only one thing left to do. Juggle your drumsticks, pickle your cucumbers, reel in a tuna fish sandwich and flip for this cookbook!


Ah, there’s nothing like Jell-0 Setting in the West . . .

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written by Judi Barrett
illustrated by Ron Barrett
published by Atheneum BFYR, 2013
Heaping helpings of fun for ages 4-8, 64 pp.
On shelves now, no umbrellas required

*Did you know there’s also a new Cloudy picture book out? Stay tuned for my review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies!

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*Spreads posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2013 Judi Barrett, illustrations © 2013 Ron Barrett, published by Atheneum BFYR/S&S. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “noodling around with grandpa’s cloudy with a chance of meatballs cookbook by judi barrett and ron barrett

  1. It looks like the most wonderful kids’ cookbook. Those illustrations-saucy and delicious looking, Jama! (You’ve got me thinking in all foodie words!) Thanks-will be a very fun Christmas gift!


  2. Cornelius looks proud of himself (and rightly so!) 🙂 I love the illustrations! Maybe I’ll try that lemon blizzard.


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