Unlikely Incubator! The Sheep Who Hatched An Egg by Gemma Merino
LOLA THE SHEEP HAD EXTRAORDINARY WOOL.
IT WAS SHINY.
IT WAS SILKY.
IT WAS SOFT AND IT NEVER, EVER, HAD TANGLES.
Any sheep would covet Lola's wool. Wouldn't ewe?
But sheep puns aside, Lola soon becomes obsessed by her unusual tresses, shampooing and styling her coiffure for hours each day. All eyes are on the ewe with the most sinuous wool in the flock. She basks in her crowning glory, the veritable Rapunzel of her flock.
But for a sheep, the arrival of spring means just one thing--
Sadly, Lola is soon lined up to go under the clippers with the other sheep, and she emerges mightily mortified with a summer buzz cut:
LOLA FELT RIDICULOUS WITHOUT HER FINE, SILKY WOOL. ALL SHE WANTED WAS TO DO WAS HIDE.
Lola heads for the hills in a self-imposed exile, shamed by the loss of her lustrous, illustrious pelt.
And it only gets worse. Her wool grows back wilder and nappier than any ewe's in the flock. How can Lola ever go back to the sheep barn? It's a sad, bad-hair summer for Lola, as her hair grows ever more unkempt, collecting leaves and twigs and ...
Yes, an egg falls fortuitously out of a nest and settles gently, unnoticed, into Lola's fulsome fro! As Lola mourns alone, the egg is perfectly incubated in her warm, woolly 'do. And then one day....
LOLA AWOKE TO FIND AN EXCITED CHICK SITTING ON HER HEAD!
The baby bird loves Lola's nest-worthy coif, and Lola the once-beauteous sheep becomes a surrogate mom! Lola is proud and happy, and the unlikely friends find fun everywhere in their hillside hideaway. But as the chick feathers out to become a fledgling, Lola's fleece grows even thicker, and finally she has to admit that she is... HOT!
"I NEED A HAIRCUT!" SHE PROCLAIMS.
"AND I NEED TO SEE THE WORLD!" SANG THE BIRD.
It's hair today and gone tomorrow, in Gemma Merino's, The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg (Albert Whitman, 2017). The appropriately surnamed Merino (a type of fine wool) offers up a fanciful spring story, done in charming artwork reminiscent of Tomie de Paola's bucolic Calabrian stories, (cf. his sheep saga, Charlie Needs a Cloak) soft, fuzzy illustrations in gentle pastel tones and careful details that enrich her story of finding faith in yourself even on bad hair days. Says Kirkus Reviews, "Merino's airy style reflects the light message of the book: celebrate yourself and enjoy your imperfections."
Gemma Merino's earlier eccentrically quirky critter creations are The Cow Who Climbed a Tree (see review here) and The Crocodile Who Didn't like Water.