How Fletcher Was Hatched
By Wende Devlin
Illustrated by Harry Devlin
Another of my very favorite childhood picture books, this is the tale of Fletcher, a hound dog whose spirits droop when he sees that his owner, a little girl by the name of Alexandra, is completely charmed by the fuzzy yellow baby chicks who have just hatched.
Feeling big and awkward compared to the tiny chicks, Fletcher despairs that Alexandra will never love him the same way again. He confides in his friends Otter and Beaver.
“Could you peep-peep a little?” asked Beaver.
“If you could only hatch once in awhile,” said Otter.
“That’s it! cried Beaver, slapping his tail. “We’ll have you hatch. It will be a new beginning!”
So Beaver and Otter go to work, construct an egg frame around the big hound with reeds and river grasses and plastering it with pink clay. When their work is done, Fletcher is encased in a gargantuan pink egg, ready to win over Alexandra.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story except to say that it is a sweet tale about being happy with yourself just as you are, whether you are a long-legged, big-eared, no-longer-a-puppy hound dog or (for the time being, anyway) a tiny and irresistible fluffball of a baby chick.
(This was a good lesson for me when I was a little girl, and it still resonates at 46!)