Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!







Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 211: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is one of those childhood classics that somehow has not yet made it into our home library (or on to this blog) until now.  I brought it home from the library once when my son was 2 or 3, but at the time, it was too long to sufficiently hold his interest.  Not anymore!  My mom recently gave us the copy that had been my brothers' when they were little, and my son (now 5) has requested it at bedtime every night for almost a week now.

If you are unfamiliar with this fantastical story, it's about the unique, faraway town of Chewandswallow.  It's a town like any other, for the most part, with lovely stores along its main street, houses with gardens and trees, a school.  "The only thing that was really different about Chewandswallow was its weather.  It came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Everything that everyone ate came from the sky."  Imagine a world where you could wake up one morning and, "after a brief shower of orange juice, low clouds of sunny-side up eggs moved in, followed by pieces of toast.  Butter and jelly sprinkled down for the toast.  And most of the time it rained milk afterwards."  Hot dogs blown in from the northwest, mustard clouds, Jell-O sunsets.  Wouldn't that just be amazing?

Life went along happily in Chewandswallow, until one day, the weather took a turn for the worse.  A giant pancake fell on the school and couldn't be removed, and the maple syrup that rained down nearly flooded the town.  Other days saw only gorgonzola cheese, or overcooked broccoli, or pea soup fog so thick that no one could see anything.  Eventually, things got so bad that everyone had to abandon Chewandswallow and leave it behind forever.

It's a story that is as delightful as it is clever, with illustrations that are bound to captivate you read after read after read.  I personally find the coloring of the illustrations a little strange (maybe it's just our version), but the detail of the drawings is simply fantastic and we find something new and creative every time we read it.  One of my favorite pictures is that of the boat made of stale bread and peanut butter, with pizza and swiss cheese for sails and a bacon flag.  Ralph's Roofless Restaurant is pretty clever, too.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this story, though, is that it is presented in the form of a bedtime story told by a grandfather to his grandchildren at bedtime; or rather, a child's recollection of a story her grandfather told her at bedtime.  My favorite lines in the whole book are "Henry and I were awake until the very end of Grandpa's story.  I remember his goodnight kiss." This line always reminds me of the incredible significance of simple moments like these.  Moments that, in and of themselves, might not seem like anything particularly noteworthy or unique, but that can linger in our children's memories long after we've forgotten them.  Moments that I remind myself to take time to savor and appreciate while they are happening.  It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:  "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."  I guess we should never underestimate the wonderful power of stories and goodnight kisses.

1 comments:

Jay Py said...

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