cover image Rutabaga the Adventure Chef

Rutabaga the Adventure Chef

Eric Colossal. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1380-4

Once readers get used to the idea of a nearly bald roving chef who saves the day by cooking delicious food for the warriors in his medievalesque fantasy world, they’ll read through his exploits voraciously. Accompanied by dragon-fighting friends Winn, Manny, and Beef, and his walking cauldron, Pot, Rutabaga wanders the land, “searching for strange and magical ingredients,” inventing dishes like Roasted Mud Leech and Ghost Mushroom Salad. In episodic escapades. He tracks the monster Korkanis by identifying the Pyka’s Palm seeds in its droppings and challenges a crabby one-eyed cook to a cook-off. (“You’re going down, old man,” Rutabaga snaps, although his bowling-ball head takes the sting out of his tough-guy talk.) Newcomer Colossal’s stories bubble with inspiration, laughs, and even a few poignant moments. Readers will rejoice to know that more books are on the way, although it will be a while before they’re willing to try Rutabaga’s recipes: “1) First off, Korkanis meat is tough! Get out your meat mallet... 2) and just go to town on it!” Ages 8–12. Agent: Charlie Olsen, InkWell Management. (Mar.)