The Screaming Chef

Comfort food indeed! Eating outrageously fine cuisine is the sole activity that stops this young lad from screaming incessantly. But one fateful night, when his parents accidentally burn dinner, the boy’s temper flares and he begins to yell. Tired of all the noise, Mom and Dad relinquish all cooking responsibilities, leaving it all up to him. E voilà! The boy so enjoys cooking that he sings instead of screams, and finds that he is so talented that his parents open a restaurant with the boy as head chef. But life in the kitchen of an acclaimed and busy restaurant is not easy, so when the boy begins to make mistakes, will his penchant for earsplitting noise ruin everything?

The creators of The Lonely Phone Booth and The Lonely Typewriter are at it again in their new children’s book The Screaming Chef. Witty text and clever illustrations combine to create a silly yet serious picture book for readers of all ages which teaches kids that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, especially when you’re singing.

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.

The New York Times

The duo behind The Lonely Phone Booth and The Lonely Typewriter returns with a drily funny story about an unnamed boy who is prone to screaming. Ackerman’s story will have readers of all ages laughing, especially over diners’ reactions to the boy’s food: “A man drank soup straight from the bowl so he could clap.” Dalton’s illustrations create a chic 1950s-retro atmosphere, and just when it seems like the boy is just another Gordon Ramsay in the making, he finds another outlet for his anger. Kids (and chefs) take note.

— Publishers Weekly

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

Max Dalton lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been drawing since he was two or three years old. Max has too many interests to list here – from writing to painting to playing music and reading about animals – but his all-time favorite is drawing. He is the illustrator of The Lonely Phone Booth The Lonely Typewriterand Extreme Opposites.