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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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****Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

by Eileen Spinelli

illustrated by Paul Yalowitz

Reviewed September 30, 2001.
1991.  Available at Sembach Library.  (E SPI)

My other Picture Book Picks have mainly been funny and clever, so I thought that this week I’d pick a heart-warming one for a change.  Of course, part of the reason I love this book is that my own father and brothers are named Mr. Hatch.  But even without that connection, you’ll find this is a beautiful story.  (And everyone named Hatch on my list simply HAS to read it!)

Mr. Hatch is a quiet man.  He doesn’t smile as he walks every day to the shoelace factory where he eats alone at lunchtime.  After work, he buys a newspaper and a chicken wing, reads the paper, takes a shower, and goes to bed early.

One Valentine’s Day, Mr. Hatch gets a package.  Inside is a big box of candy with the message “Somebody Loves You.”  Suddenly, everything changes for Mr. Hatch.  He starts smiling.  He shares the candy at work.  He notices other people, and does helpful things.  Before long, he’s the most popular man in the neighborhood.

Then the postman comes back with the awful news that the package was delivered by mistake.  Mr. Hatch goes back to his old ways, concluding that no one loves him after all.  Do you think his new friends will let him get away with that?

This is a lovely story, and beautifully done.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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