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Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken: 12/14/10

cover art

Daniel Pinkwater is another author my local library has introduced me to. Two of his books were sitting on their recommended children's books recently: The Neddiad (review coming) and Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken. Now since one is a middle grade book and the other is a picture book, I didn't notice that they were by the same author until I sat down to write my reviews.

Beautiful Yetta is about a Yiddish speaking chicken who breaks free from her cage and escapes the truck brining her into the city. While she's trying to figure out a safe place to be she saves a wild parrot from a hungry looking cat. The book is written in English, Yiddish (with transliteration) and Spanish.

The book is set in Brooklyn and at the end of the book Daniel Pinkwater includes a little background on the story. There are in fact wild parrots (just as there are in South Pasadena and San Francisco) and kosher butchers. He says he doesn't know if chickens speak Yiddish but thought it would be fun to suppose they could.

I read Beautiful Yetta before I read The Neddiad and I was skeptical at first. It's not that I don't believe in chickens or parrots in urban areas; I've seen both. It just seemed like an incredibly odd choice of story. Now having completely enjoyed Melvin the Shaman from The Neddiad I've come to realize that odd ball characters and plot lines are what he specializes in. I can certainly say that Yetta has stuck with me both as a story and as a character.

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Comment #1: Friday, December, 17, 2010 at 14:10:30

darla d

This one sounds like a lot of fun - I'll be on the lookout for it. I enjoy Pinkwater's sense of humor!

Comment #2: Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 10:13:41


It is a fun book. It's worth reading Pinkwater's afterword where he explains the inspirations for the book.

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