Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken

Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken

5.0 2
by Daniel Pinkwater, Jill Pinkwater
     
 

Yetta, beautiful Yetta, manages to escape from the butcher's shop. But now she is lost in Brooklyn—a strange place filled with rude rats and dangerous buses!

!??????

geVAHLT!

Oh, dear!

But then, brave Yetta saves a small green bird from a sneaky cat, and his friends, the wild parrots of Brooklyn, are very grateful.

¡Muchas gracias, gallina

…  See more details below

Overview

Yetta, beautiful Yetta, manages to escape from the butcher's shop. But now she is lost in Brooklyn—a strange place filled with rude rats and dangerous buses!

!??????

geVAHLT!

Oh, dear!

But then, brave Yetta saves a small green bird from a sneaky cat, and his friends, the wild parrots of Brooklyn, are very grateful.

¡Muchas gracias, gallina hermosa!

¡mooCHAS grahSEEas, gahYEEna ehrMOsa!

Thank you very much, beautiful chicken!

Has beautiful Yetta found her new home?

Inspired by real events, this multilingual story is a witty, warm, and wonderful read-aloud for any age.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Comely and organic, Yetta the chicken seems destined for a Jewish family's Sabbath table. But Yetta is also brave and clever, and when the opportunity for escape comes her way, she grabs it. "She will not be soup. She will not be roasted chicken on a Friday night. She is free. She is in Brooklyn," writes Daniel Pinkwater, in solemn deadpan mode. The mean streets test Yetta's mettle, but her innate heroism and cat-chasing skills eventually win her a new life as den mother to Brooklyn's Spanish-speaking community of wild parrots ("Por favor, quédate con nosotros, gallina hermosa," coos one. "Please stay with us, beautiful chicken!"). Jill Pinkwater's illustrations don't have a lot of visual heft--Yetta's inner strength is never fully articulated and the compositions lack a strong focus. But there's still plenty of fun to be had, and the Pinkwaters are to be applauded for expanding readers' Yiddish lexicon beyond simple phrases like "Gevalt!" ("Oh, dear!") to such delicious constructions as "Gay ahvek, du fahrshtunkehneh kahtz! ("Go away, you stinky cat!), which appear in English and Yiddish characters, along with pronunciations. Ages 3-7. (June)
From the Publisher

“It's classic Pinkwater: funny, weird, touching, and all about the joys of being sideways to reality...Daniel Pinkwater is a genius.” —Cory Doctorow

“Fresh and nostalgic, the story is told in three languages--English, Yiddish (Yetta's native tongue, so to speak) and Spanish (those real-life Brooklyn parrots had to come from somewhere). Pluck is really the name of the game.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“Dedicated fans of the Pinkwaters will appreciate the offbeat, wry humor, as will those interested in the many urban legends surrounding Brooklyn's flocks of wild parrots.” —School Library Journal

“An irreverent picture book that ingeniously combines three languages…Part immigrant story, part language lesson, and consistently fun, the Pinkwaters' newest tale reminds children that if you are confident in who you are and where you come from, friends will never be far away.” —Jewish Journal of Los Angeles

“The real entertainment derives from the polyglot nature of the avians here…While occasionally there's a little joke in the translation itself (Yetta's hearty "Gevalt!" is translated demurely as "Oh, dear"), this isn't so much humor of misunderstanding as humor of the widely, even linguistically, divergent joining forces (the parrots' awed Spanish exclamations about Yetta's astounding beauty are deliciously absurd).” —BCCB

“Jill Pinkwater's hues squawk off the spacious pages with riotous energy, while unexpected shapes and perspectives rev up the action… what a find!” —Horn Book Magazine

“One of the most charming, huggable books I've ever read.” —Hudson Valley News

“Plenty of fun to be had…the Pinkwaters are to be applauded for expanding readers' Yiddish lexicon beyond simple phrases.” —Publishers Weekly

“Breathlessly ingenuous narration...A delicious, loopy romp to savor whether it's Friday or not. Truly!” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A warm twist on the immigration story that celebrates the richness of urban diversity.” —Booklist

“This story speaks to the child who's new to a country, new to a neighborhood, or who simply finds himself on the outside looking for a way in. Yetta may be out of her element, but she knows who she is and acts with confidence. Brava!” —Shelf Awareness

School Library Journal
Gr 2—As Mr. Flegleman, an organic chicken rancher, unloads his crates in front of Phil's Poultry World, one brave and clever fowl, determined not to become Friday night's dinner, manages to escape. Unfortunately, beautiful Yetta is homesick and lonely in Brooklyn. The rats and pigeons tell her to get lost, and she almost gets hit by a bus. When she saves a little green bird, Eduardo, from a cat, she gains new friends and a family among the parrots on the telephone wires, and they teach her how to find fruit and crusts of pizza. While the narration is in English, Yetta's dialogue is in Yiddish, and the parrots speak Spanish (both with English translations and transliterations). The comical marker and ink illustrations enhance the text, but, without the language gimmick, there isn't much to the story. However, this would make for an entertaining reader's theater, especially with authentic Yiddish and Spanish accents. And dedicated fans of the Pinkwaters will appreciate the offbeat, wry humor, as will those interested in the many urban legends surrounding Brooklyn's flocks of wild parrots. Unlike Dave Horowitz's Five Little Gefiltes (Putnam, 2007) and Simms Taback's Kibitzers and Fools (Viking, 2005), which introduce children to the joys of Yiddish, the Pinkwaters'offering may have trouble reaching a wide audience.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Danger! Escape! Mean urban streets! Heroism! Community! Wacky but warm-hearted words from Pinkwater! A Yiddish-speaking chicken escapes her Friday-night-dinner doom and wanders through streets of Brooklyn that are filled with tall buildings, rats, buses and selfish pigeons. When she saves a lovely green bird from a cat, the grateful flock of wild parrots adopts her as their loving leader, and she becomes their doting mother. Really! The breathlessly ingenuous narration is all in English, and the conversations are in Yiddish (for the chicken) and Spanish (for the parrots)-translated and transliterated in speech bubbles. It's a very funny and spirited story that everyone can read aloud in English. Honestly! Jill Pinkwater's brightly colored cartoon illustrations on a white background imbue each animal with personality, while the page layout moves readers briskly through fast-paced action sequences. A delicious, loopy romp to savor whether it's Friday or not. Truly! (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312558246
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
05/25/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
612,877
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD350L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Daniel Pinkwater is the author and sometimes illustrator of more than 80 (and counting) wildly popular books. These books include 5 Novels, The Yggyssey, Lizard Music and Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl. He is also an occasional commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and appears regularly on Weekend Edition Saturday, where he reviews exceptional kids' books with host Scott Simon. Daniel also contributes to Wondertime, and has in the past been spotted on the pages of The New York Times Magazine, OMNI, and many other fine publications. In collaboration with Tony Auth, Daniel wrote an unfortunately short-lived comic strip, NORB, which was critically acclaimed by Jules Feiffer and Chaim Potok, and no one else. (It was really good, though.) Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Pinkwater grew up in Memphis, Chicago and Los Angeles, and studied art at Bard College. He lives in New York.

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Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous, funny book that keep Yiddish alive and silly for future generations.
RabbiJo More than 1 year ago
Fly, don't walk to Barnes&Noble and buy multiple copies of this charming book for all your friends! It will appeal to children and adults alike. It is a story of courage and interfaith and intercultural understanding. Jill Pinkwater's illustrations are charming, and Daniel Pinkwater, a genius, is at his best. You might also enjoy some of his other work, especially Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, a personal favorite of mine.