"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 worked. At lunchtime 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 dessert."
So begins this perfect-for-heart-day story written by Eileen Spinelli (yes, that's the wife of our beloved Jerry Spinelli) and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz. And so begins every day for Mr. Hatch. Just as drab as the last. But on Valentine's Day he receives a candy-filled heart with a card that says "Somebody loves you," and his whole world changes. Mr. Hatch starts to feel differently about himself and begins to interact with those around him. But what will happen when it turns out that the Valentine's Day gift was delivered to Mr. Hatch by mistake? You'll have to read this gem to find out!
(Some great things about this book: First of all, Eileen Spinelli is clever as can be. She had me from that first paragraph. (I mean, come on, who eats a mustard and cheese sandwich?! I had to learn more about this Mr. Hatch...) Secondly, Yalowitz's colored pencil illustrations are wonderful. He uses color perfectly to capture the mood of each scene. For example, the illustration accompanying that first paragraph is full of dull gray tones. We see warmer colors as the story continues. Brilliant.)
Enjoy this read and enjoy your Heart Day!