One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
This book has such a powerful message about the difference a simple act of kindness can make. There are so many of these small, simple acts in the story and they each affect the receiver in profound ways, but none more profoundly than Mr. Hatch, a lonely old man at the beginning of the story, and someone entirely different at the end. Mr. Hatch’s loneliness is relatable to people of all ages; we see ourselves in his shyness and the difficulty he has in reaching out to others. When he receives a gift and a cryptic love note, it gives him confidence and motivates him to connect with the people around him. Empathy is another strong theme in the book. Not only do we feel for Mr. Hatch in his loneliness, but, along with Mr. Hatch, we feel for the newsstand man and the butcher in their difficulties. Reading this story together can facilitate conversations about who we might know that could use a little lift, or maybe some brownies!
This book has a great story and wonderful message. It can facilitate important conversations about caring for other people and how that makes a difference in our lives as well as theirs. However, it’s also a very long, very wordy book, and I have little kids, so we’ll be saving it for when they’re a little older.
Eileen fell in love with words and decided to become a writer as a young child at Sellers Memorial Library. She is the author of many children’s books, along with being a mother and a grandmother, and currently lives with her husband, Jerry Spinelli, who is also an author in Pennsylvania. When she is not writing books (which she does longhand, and then on an electric typewriter), she enjoys drinking tea, picking herbs, trying on hats and star-gazing with her husband.