The Rooster Who Understood JapaneseBy
Written by Yoshiko Uchida
Years ago I stumbled across several volumes of books for young readers by Japanese American writer, Yoshiko Uchida. I fell in love with her ability to tell a compelling story from the eyes of a young person and this is one of my favorite volumes by her – the Rooster Who Understood Japanese.
It’s about a little girl named Miyo and her neighborhood. Although a handsome rooster lives next door and is the pride and joy of her elderly neighbors, it becomes a problem for another resident who threatens to call the police because of it’s early morning crowing. Miyo is afraid the beloved pet will have nowhere to go and will become someone’s meal. So she takes on the mission of finding a home for this special bird – a rooster that understands Japanese.
Uchida has a gift for weaving realistic details into her stories in regard to prejudice and the difficulties faced by Japanese Americans in the USA during the 1950s – 1970’s. Her young heroines succeed by using grace, cleverness, persistence and patience and have a way of making their world a better place, despite the obstacles they are forced to overcome.
And the rooster? There’s happy ending there, too. But you have to read the book to find out how it all turns out.