A review of Godine title, The Screaming Chef, appeared in The New York Times on Friday. The Screaming Chef, written by Peter Ackerman and illustrated by Max Dalton, follows a young boy with a love for food, who will not stop screaming unless he is pacified by fine cuisine. Finally, tired of the noise, his parents abdicate their cooking responsibilities to him, and eventually, the boy’s talent is so great that they are prompted to open a restaurant with him as the head chef. When things start to go awry, the boy’s frustration grows: will his temper win, or the food?
In a stylish world of midcentury modern décor, a boy screams nonstop. His parents are out of ideas. Realizing he never shrieks when he eats, they cook him amazing food, but he grows huge. Soon he’s cooking himself and opens a fancy restaurant. The customers flock, but his frustration rises. The screaming starts again, until he adds singing to his repertoire. Ackerman and Dalton (“The Lonely Phone Booth”) have cooked up something witty and, as an example of the parental art of redirecting, perhaps inadvertently wise.
Peter Ackerman has made two books with Max Dalton. Their first book, The Lonely Phone Booth, was selected for the Smithsonian’s 2010 Notable Books for Children and adapted and produced as a musical at the Manhattan Children’s Theater. Peter co-wrote the movies Ice Age and Ice Age 3. Currently he is a writer on the TV show The Americans, and his web-series The Go Getters can be seen on www.thegogetters.net.