Blog Blasting The Fix-it-Man

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Welcome to my contribution to the The Fix-it-Man blog blast!

You can find more sneak peak posts  and sneak reviews TODAY at all the following super cool online spaces where people review and interview authors.

 

The Fix- it-Man, by Dimity Powell, illustrated by Nicky Johnston  

Reviewed by June Perkins

ISBN 9781925335347 Hardcover Picture Book EK Books. Endorsed by Paradise Kids, Reccomended retail price $24.99

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  colours depicting a 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.’

(Extract from upcoming review: for the rest visit this blog in April and also watch out for a moving interview with the compassionate Dimity Powell).

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You can meet Dimity at the launch or visit her website  Dimity Powell’s Website

Frangipani Dreaming

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Frangipani Dreaming – June Perkins

Dear Daughter is teaching me how to use parts of the photoshop program that I don’t know very well.  There are lots of online videos, and classes you can go to, but I love that my daughter can teach me.

She’s learning it at school, but experiments a lot in the programs too and has developed her own short cuts.

She practices instruction now on me, and is naturally patient.  She is enthusiastic, excited and generous, and wants to let me know handy tips.

The above image  ‘Frangipani Dreaming’ is two photographs overlaid, with some art treatments,  shifting of layers and making of transparencies.

She taught me about doing things with the edges of photographs.  I did that but still have to work on internalising that technique.

I enjoy learning from watching, doing, and practicing.

They were both strong images to begin with.  They could happily exist non photoshopped but I like the feeling of the overlay.

For now I am going to practice with our first lesson elements and do them until I can remember them by heart!

I am teaching her to blog and might teach her some of the guitar and things about the camera I know if she’d like me to.  I have a feeling she is going to experiment with all of these things and  tell me things I don’t know about them all at some point.

Still I have lots of wisdom to impart about many things, and a lived life that she can learn from.

Now my next request is for her to teach her bubu (grandmother) how to skype!

 

Do you have a teacher that inspires you?

 

Yours in technology adventures,

Gumbootspearlz

Gumboots Festival Time

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Gumboots 4 Peace – Circle of Boots – June Perkins

It’s that time of year again when Tully gears up for the Golden Gumboots Festival.

My daughter is considering entering the Golden Gumboot Quest.  We’re not really into quests so how has this happened? In fact, the last time a child of mine entered one was my eldest son as a baby in a shopping centre and we won because he had eyes like me, let me see we won a small sash saying ‘ he looks like his mother.’ I am still not sure how we were roped into that one either.  I think we might have been passing by.

But my daughter, a keen artist, feels a float and an interesting dress for quest night would be loads of fun.  I think we better keep her plans top secret for now. I think the motivation is that we feel the need for a bit of fun, joy and gumboots activity after all the cyclone recovery stuff, time to be silly and just go with the flow.

All we know so far is that she must go to the Grand Parade, be available on the night of the Festival for the announcement of the winner of each Category and that she also has to prepare for a quest night, and have a sponsor. I think I may have already tracked one down.

Now for other helpers – and equipment and more information and some hard work.

Will I survive being Mum to a daughter in a quest? Probably, because it’s primarily for fun, and we’ll fund raise for some worthy cause.

Do we care about the result? I don’t think so.  We just want a float that rocks and I can’t wait to see watching my daughter take to the stage, she seems to like that a bit now she’s a teenager.

Anyone got a ute?

Look Don’t Touch

This is one of my contributions to the ABC Open project 500 words.

I felt inspired by the topic and am loving reading everyone’s contributions.

Look - don't touch
Girl and Hibiscus – June Perkins

Mum has always loved gardens.  She used to stop and knock on our neighbours’ doors when their gardens had plants with brilliant potential cuttings.   Then she would ask ‘Do you mind if I take a cutting?’

She came equipped with her own garden gloves, shears and buckets.  I wonder what the neighbours thought of her as she harvested their gardens.  I remember being embarrassed, but she did do it with everyone’s blessing.  I don’t remember anyone ever saying no to her.

Mum loved to try and grow tropical plants in Tasmania to remind her of her original home in Papua New Guinea.  She had immense pride when she had success with her hibiscus. She has always been a determined lady in both her garden and other parts of her life.

When we were little Mum clearly told us to stay away from her garden flowers – ’Look, don’t touch.’

We had to water and weed the vegetable patch. Our vegetable garden was vital to our family’s survival as we didn’t have a large income. Our Dad was often away working as a labourer so the garden gave my Mum many hours of happiness.

She tried to make us follow the rules of her garden – things like ‘you are not allowed to pick the flowers or pick the fruit and vegetables before they are ripe.’ But the problem was I loved the delicious scent of Mum’s garden flowers and was keen to make perfumes just like the ones on her dressing table.

There was one plant in particular with a yellow mushy part that you could crush easily into a yellow powder and it made a vibrant paste for not only perfume but for making your own paint.

One day I found myself with this glorious plant busy making my perfume – how I loved  the feel of the soft yellow part of the plant – when my Mum stepped out of the back door and began to yell out and run for me – ‘No, how could you….’  I was sure I turned the bright pink of my Mum’s hibiscus.

I looked up from my perfume making efforts at my Mum’s anguished face, and glanced briefly at the very empty flower bed.  Had I really used that many flowers?

Holding my bowl of flowers forward as if it was now the best treasure of all I managed to squeeze out the words, ‘I made it just for you.’

                              By June Perkins

For more  Caught Out Stories head over to ABC Open’s 500 Words.