a Valentine's book to warm the heart

I asked my husband what children's books made his voice a little gruff and his eyeballs sweat a bit.

His without thinking about it answer was  

Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch
author: Eileen Spinelli
illustrator: Paul Yalowitz
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Jan. 1 1996)
gently captivating for children 5 - 7

first lines 
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 8 blocks to the shoelace factory where he worked. At lunch time he would sit alone in a corner, eat his cheese and mustard sandwich, and drink a cup of coffee. Sometimes he brought a prune for desert. 

Mr. Hatch leads a lonely life until one Valentine's Day when the postman delivers a huge, heart-shaped box of candy with a card reading "Somebody loves you." Knowing he has a secret admirer gives Mr. Hatch a bright new perspective on life -- until it turns out there's been a terrible mistake. But Mr. Hatch's new friends rally to show him that a lot of somebodies love Mr. Hatch.  GoodReads

I love this book because
Who can resist a story of a person being brought into life as a result of feeling loved. And all the ripples that that has.  The pencil crayon illustrations are gentle and quirky enough to capture the reader's imagination.  

Kirkus Reviews sums it up nicely: A charming book with a real plot, its amiable tone beautifully complemented by the intriguing illustrations.


Mr Hatch makes a wonderful character study. I love the Mr Hatch portraits from Mrs Larremore and Chalk Talk.  

Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch is a wonderful book to illustrate the power of kindness.  
Kindness take Mr Hatch out of his lunch corner and into his community.  

What could it do in our homes, classroom and community.

It's a perfect invitation to practice some planned and random acts of kindness.  

Barbara at The Corner on Character was given a couple of books filled with affirmations  and appreciations. 

Maybe this year, we will be stealth kindness operatives.

In February, you never know where a rice crispy heart made with great kindness by a group of 5 year olds (with scrubbed clean hands) will show up.  

With a note. 

Somebody loves you.

Enjoy the online version of the story from Storyline Online.  Hector Elizondo reads the story. 

Image Map


  1. Thanks for sharing this great book and resources : Storyline Online. what a great "Valentine" gift I just received. ( or better yet. It was my birthday on Friday. Think I will buy it for my c,ass!)

  2. I bought this book last year (either on yours or Barbara's recommendation) and I LOVE it!

  3. I agree, my voice always catches when I read about Mr. Hatch. I love the idea of using it as a springboard for acts of kindness. Thanks

    1. I'm good until the end when everyone shows Mr Hatch how much they care about him.

  4. I have not heard of this book before! Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a great addition to the class library!

  5. Hope you and your kids enjoy it.

  6. This one was our favorite read for a long time now. We read this one over and over again for quite some time :) Looks like we'll be reading this again this year too :)
    Jumping over form Booknificient linky.
    Happy valentines! :)
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks

  7. Oh, I love this book! I had not seen the online reading! Can't wait to share with my kids!


  8. What a great story! Thanks for sharing at Booknificent Thursday! Sounds like a read I need to check out from the library for my son!

  9. OH, this book looks delightful, and I absolutely adore the question you posed to your husband! Thanks so much for sharing at Booknificent Thursday!


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