A Hen for Izzy Pippik

Aubrey Davis; Marie LaFrance, illus.

  • Review
August 7, 2012

Times are tough in the lit­tle town where young Shaina lives. Then one day, a mag­nif­i­cent hen appears — a hen with beauti­ful green feath­ers, a ruby red comb, and a win­ning per­son­al­i­ty. Look­ing around for its own­er, Shaina finds only a wood­en crate. IZZY PIP­PIK: CHICK­ENS AND EGGS, a sign on the crate reads. Shaina decides she must pro­tect the hen (she names it Yev­ka) from the hun­gry towns­peo­ple; Izzy Pip­pik, who­ev­er he is, will sure­ly return. That means she must also pro­tect Yevka’s even­tu­al chicks, and the chicks’ chicks, and so on. How the hen and its mul­ti­tude of off­spring breathe new life into the depressed town makes for a fun les­son about the rewards of doing the right thing despite dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. Tra­di­tion­al Tal­mu­dic and Islam­ic texts form the bones of the sto­ry, which is deliv­ered with a deft and wit­ty touch. The illus­tra­tions are delight­ful and con­vey the chaos of the grow­ing brood. The sto­ry how­ev­er, is often qui­et and sub­tle; some read­ers may wish for a row­di­er, more ram­bunc­tious telling.

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