Nika is a new girl at Shiri’s preschool, but she doesn't answer questions or speak to anyone. The children make fun of her and say that she has swallowed her tongue. The teacher explains that Nika can't speak Hebrew yet, because she's a new immigrant from Russia, so they use sign language to try and communicate. But Nika does not respond and the children tease her again.
Suddenly there's a commotion when a cat comes in and scatters all the school's little yellow chicks. Everyone rushes to drive away the cat, and don't notice the new girl who has picked up one of the chicks. When Nika whispers the word for chick in her own language, the barriers come down - the children learn her word for the downy little ball and she learns theirs. Nika finally joins the group and there is harmony.
With charm and sensitivity, Dorit Orgad sends an important message to her young readers: every society must be patient and tolerant towards minority members, even though they are different.
Illustrations: Nurit Zarfaty
English translation available (for publishers only)