ISBN 9781925335347 Hardcover Picture Book EK Books Endorsed by Paradise Kids
It is a challenge to cover the deeper topics in life for young children in a way that is relatable, honest and caring, but Dimity Powell’s The Fix -it-Man sets out to do just that. Nicky Johnston’s gentle, joyful and equally caring illustrations take the reader through the happy, although sometimes challenging times, in a family that is about to be broken by something that just can’t be fixed. A double centre spread of predominantly subdued grey father and daughter nestled in a bean bag, is particularly moving, and marks a shift in the narrative from the fix-it- man to a fix- it- girl. Another especially powerful metaphor for grief in the story is the broken teddy bear, ‘Tiger’ who needs mending. Our young narrator says, ‘Pieces spill out from Tiger’s heart, as Dad takes him from my hand. ‘I can’t fix him Dad.’ The idea that in the healing process at different times all family members can play a role, and need to care for those still living, is especially powerful.
I can see the book often being used by early childhood educators, psychologists and hospitals as a tool to trigger discussion of how children and parents can find ways to recover from loss, especially how father and daughters can assist each other. But at the same time children will enjoy the journey of a courageous and vivacious little girl who sometimes breaks things precisely because she is so vibrant, and who is lucky to have a kind- hearted Dad who is her hero. Well done Nicky and Dimity for a simply beautiful contribution to children’s picture books and EK publishing for publishing it.
Book available from all good bookstores.
Dimity will be signing books
Berkelouw Books on the Sunshine Coast, April 22nd, 2017