Pickles to Pittsburgh (Sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) - LOVE!

Pickles to Pittsburgh - Ronald Barrett, Judi Barrett

The first time I read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I was completely enamoured. It was a book that spoke to my imagination, that created a world that fascinated me. I read it nearly every year, returning to Chewandswallow as if on an annual vacation. While the recent movie was fun, it didn't capture my feelings for the story and explaning away the food took away the magic. (Some day I'll have to do reviews of both the book and movie.)


Then I recently discovered that there was a sequel to my favorite children's tale and I couldn't wait to read it. I'll admit to some trepidation; could this possibly live up to the original I loved so much?


Yes, yes it could. Grandpa, the narrator of the first book, is on vacation in 'unusual' places. This time his granddaughter Kate is our storyteller and the narrative she imparts is not a bedtime story but rather a dream. With her we fly to a land made up of enormaous pieces of food, see fields of cartons filling up with Orange Juice rain. We learn the fate of Chewandswallow and the use they've found for the food. Of course, it's only a dream...right?


Sequels can disappoint readers, either because they don't capture that special something from the firth book or they move the story in a way that messes with the narrative! Pickles, however, completely captures the magic of Cloudy. You have the story/dream taking you to a magical world where food doesn't come from grocery stores and arrives fully cooked! My dream place! This takes the familiar story and takes it to the next level, allowing the child to take the grandfather's place and allow the tragedy of the first book to be redeemed.


So yes, I'm quite happy with where the Judi and Ron Barrett have taken the story and hope to see more of Chewandswallow. I don't think its story is done quite yet!