by Judi Barrett
illustrations by Rob Barrett
A classic story about a grandfather who tells his grandchildren the most amazing bedtime story about the town of Chewandswallow. A normal town, except that each day's 3 meals all come from the sky. Seems great, until the weather starts producing more than the town can handle.
I think I like this book now because I think, wouldn't that be great? I'd never have to cook again! Hooray! But when I really think about it, I don't mind cooking. It's the mess afterward that drives me crazy. And if I had to wash the dishes and wash the car after every meal, I'd be the first to board the peanut butter sandwich sailboat to get out of town.
As a kid, I loved the story for the pictures. My kids are following suit with my 3 year old curled up on the couch laughing at every page. There are so many tiny and hilarious things to see! I only recently noticed that the Sanitation Truck has what appears to be baby doll heads on poles staked to the front bumper. Weird? Absolutely. As distrurbing as the fried egg the mama bird finds in her nest on page 12? Moreso, actually. Will I read this book to my kids again and again anyway? Yes. Will I show them the strange things I find embedded in an otherwise delightfully illustrated picturebook? Ha! Not likely.
Easy Enrichment: It isn't hard for a child to pretend they are actually reading this book, because the pictures are so descriptive. Read it to your child the first few times, then one day pass the book to your little pre-reader and tell them to read you the story. They will be so pleased that they can "read"!! Plus, if your child can learn to utilize the pictures now, it will be something they continue to do when they are learning to read. Any teacher will tell you to never cover the pictures to get your child to read the words. The pictures help tell the story and decode words if they get stuck!
If you were homeschooling, this might be a good, silly book to introduce a discussion of weather.
Love the book? Think it would make a great movie? Neither do I. But I always make plans around any event that includes Mr. T. Prepare yourself for an animated movie with the voices of Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Tracy Morgan (SNL reunion, anyone?), and of course, Mr. T among others. I guess the movie is very loosely based on the book, but since the book is entirely about food falling from the sky, what else is there to follow? Expect it in theaters January 2010.
images via bottomshelfbooks.blogspot.com