Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

Welcome Dear Grannies, to the month of L.O.V.E! Remember the days when we were room mothers? Valentines was a good time to be a room mother. Such fun things to do, and so much excitement, without a lot of expense or a lot of hard work. My kind of holiday. Oh, and remember our formula for being a room mother? Provide the class with one craft, one treat, one story (my favorite) and one game! Easy Peasy. Right? Unless they are 6th graders. They are harder ’cause they are smarter.  
However! I know a book that would be good for all grades because it teaches and reminds us that we can bring about great change in a person if we love and regard them. We can change their whole outlook on life. I would read this to every elementary age kiddo. The book is Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli and Paul Yalowitz, copyright 1996, published by Aladdin, and received 5 stars. Grab a snack whilst I tell you about this book.

Mr. Hatch is a very quiet gentleman, who works at a shoelace factory. He rarely speaks to or even greets others. Sorry, but he is a lot boring! He has a strict routine, which makes him so very predictable. Even what he eats for lunch and dinner is the same, every single day. His whole life evokes a very lonely, introverted existence. Then, one day, the postman delivers a huge heart-shaped box filled with candy! It has a note that reads, “Somebody loves you.”
Oh, it is a good and perfect gift! He can’t believe it, but after a while, he does believe it, and it begins to change his life! Just to think that someone was taking an interest in him, completely changes him. He begins to speak to the children he passes on the street, and he shares his candy with his coworkers at the factory. His neighbors wonder what has happened, but they begin to interact with him. They share some good times (and treats) with each other, and Mr. Hatch is no longer a loner. He is really enjoying life! What happens next, you may ask? Sad.
The postman stops by with an apology and explanation, telling Mr. Hatch that the candy was delivered to him by mistake. Oh, his heart is broken, and he slowly reverts back to his old boring and predictable lifestyle. His neighbors and friends wonder once again, what has happened to him, and when they learn about the mistaken delivery, they make a plan. They decide to have a party in his front yard, and they decorate his house with hearts. Then when he comes out the front door they all call out, “Somebody loves you, Mr. Hatch.” Really, it’s true. And, as you can guess, he finds that people really do value him, and he reverts back to happy! Very satisfying ending, and a story that promotes empathy toward others, and shows that kindness counts. I love it! Hope you can read this to your sweet ones. And…here’s hoping lots of loves and Valentines come your way this year! You deserve the best!


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