Want a cozy, miraculous feeling for Valentine’s Day? Have I got the book for you! Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is a gripping picture book for all ages.
Mr. Hatch was not a happy man. The book begins, “Mr. Hatch was tall and thin and he did not smile. Every morning at 6:30 sharp he would leave his brick house and walk eight blocks to the shoelace factory where he works.” Mr. Hatch lives a drab, isolated existence. But then on Valentine’s Day the postman delivers him an enormous heart-shaped box of candies. Mr. Hatch is stunned. And a little white card with it says, “Somebody loves you.” Finally it sinks in: he has a secret admirer.
At first the neighborhood is stunned as he greets them from the sidewalk. In fact, Mrs. Weed trips over her dog and little Tina Finn spills all the toys from her wagon. But quickly everyone gets used to wonderful, new Mr. Hatch. He shares his candy with everyone at work, he helps the man at the newsstand whom he’s never spoken to before, and he has brownie parties with all the kids in the neighborhood where he plays his harmonica.
Then just about the most mortifying thing in human history happens: the postman sadly returns and tells Mr. Hatch he delivered the candy box to the wrong address. Mr. Hatch brings the postman the empty box and the little card that says “Somebody loves you”. Mr. Hatch returns to his drab, gray existence.
So have I just shared the biggest bummer in literature with you since Old Yeller bit the big one, or will things turn around?
This is a miracle of a book. I read it jealously, wishing I’d dreamed it up myself. Eileen Spinelli is the lucky scribe the universe gave the story to. And Paul Yalowitz’s colored pencil drawings maintain the perfect-itude of this 1991 classic.
Happy Valentine’s Day.