Souper Chicken? Beautiful Yetta by Daniel Pinkwater
Yetta, beautiful Yetta, brave and clever, will not be soup.
She will not be roast chicken on Friday night.
She is free. She is in Brooklyn.
When Yetta flees Mr. Flegelman, chicken rancher, just as she is about to be delivered into an unpromising future at Phil's Poultry World, she finds herself in another world, the mean streets of Brooklyn--obviously outside the ordinary purview of organic poultry.
But Yetta is brave and clever, and after battling buses and repelling dangerous rats whose intentions clearly are not benign, she is even insulted by the portly pigeons she approaches in hopes of sisterly avian assistance:
"Go back to the farm, silly hen!"Then Yetta's attention is diverted to an unfolding street drama before her. A strange little green bird is about to become the end product of a successful stalk by a dangerous-looking cat.
"GAY AHVEK, DU FAHRSHTUNKEHNEH KAHTZ!"
("Go away, you stinking cat!") Yetta yells.
The cat may or may not understand Yiddish, but it certainly gets the message, as a large, white bird, wings flapping and beak snapping, bears down on it.
The cat skedaddles and Yetta is a heroine! Eduardo, one of the famous wild parrots of Brooklyn, invites her back to join his flock and shares the tale of his heroic rescue.
"YO AMO ESTA GALLINA!" ("I love this beautiful chicken!") says Eduardo.Daniel Pinkwater's latest, Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken (Feiwel & Friends, 2010), provides both a rousing tale of a hen who dodges becoming dinner and a group of environmental expatriates who find a common cause in survival in the big city. Yetta chases cats and Eduardo shows her how to procure the best pizza crusts, and the streets of Brooklyn are made safer for Yiddish hens and Hispanic parrots.
"POR FAVOR, QUEDATE CON NOSOTROS, GALLINA HERMOSA!" ("Please, stay with us, beautiful hen!") say the wild parrots.
With speech bubbles in Yiddish and phonetic English for Yetta and in Spanish and phonetic English for the parrots, reading this one aloud is a picnic in the park (or a fiesta in Flatbush), one that lends itself to exuberant retellings. Long live Yetta, the Yiddish hen. You go, girl!