Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Fletcher Was Hatched! by Wende and Harry Devlin (1969)

 All the kids in this book look like they were extras on the Brady Bunch.  It's very, very late sixties / early seventies, but without any of the campy goodness.  As I read it, this brought back creepy memories - there is this picture of the dog, crammed into that egg, scared shitless.  For some reason, I always hated that Otter and that Weasel (or whatever the hell kind of animal it was - maybe it was a Beaver).  I always thought what they did to that dog was mean.  Fletcher was kind of stupid to trust them, they built this egg around him, and to me then - and now - it seemed like some sort of mean-ass practical joke.  To be really honest, until I read it, I hardly remembered anything about this book at all, and now I know why.

Oh yeah, there is ONE black child in the book, who looks like she's been added later, at some sort of stab at multiculturalism.  It's like finding Waldo.

How Fletcher Was HatchedHow Fletcher Was Hatched by Wende Devlin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Every child depicted in this book looks like an extra from the Brady Bunch.  Fletcher the dog is a fool to trust that Otter and Beaver, and he shouldn't ever do so again. Some friends.  That picture of him trapped in the egg creeped the shit out of me when I was six, and it still does.  This reminds me of the kind of book you'd find in a 1976 doctor's office waiting room.  Next to the already-done Highlights magazine.  Which means everyone of a certain age probably recognizes that big pink egg with the dog hatching out of it on the cover.  I certainly did when I found it among my old books,  but when I re-read it today my warm 1970s memories turned sour.  Ugh.  Not one of my favorites.  I'm going to give it two stars only because my mom wrote my name on the front inside cover in 1975.

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