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

Listening Divas

Dad
Family Archives – with Dad

When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.

Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us. Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.

Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.

Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.
‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’

We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.

Read the Rest of this story over at  ABC Open

And catch up with Ali’s Posts on World Read Aloud Day

Chat with GrandDad Gerard

The third in the series, he still needs to interview his Poppy Perkins once he is well and out of hospital. Here is youngest’s chat with granddad.

Following the Crow Song

    

Here is my son’s Chat with Grandad (my Dad)

  1. Can you tell me what countries my relatives are from?

My parents, and my father’s parents, were all born in England. My father’s paternal grandfather (Jean Gerard) was born in France, and had “mixed” (African?) decent.
My mother’s father was born in Cornwall (part of England – but culturally, and supposedly racially, more akin to the people of Wales)
My mother’s mother was Irish.

2. What were their jobs?

My father was a teacher most of his working life – my mother held “occasional” jobs as an (unqualified) teacher, and as a nurse’s aide. Both of them served with the radar branch of the Royal Air Force in the war years.
My father’s father (Walter Gerard Senior) was a coal miner in the north of England. He was injured at this work in the late 1920s and never found permanent…

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Don’t Kill That Recorder: Piece 7

Asleeponasunbeam- Flickr Creative Commons

 

Dad was keen to instil in us a love of music.

The very first instrument he taught me was the recorder. He told me that so many people killed it when they played it.

He was determined I wouldn’t be one of them.

He himself played the recorder, beautifully, along with the tin whistle.

I wasn’t always a very patient student, but I did practice.

Sure enough when I started at Riverside High School, I did a solo of Green Sleeves for school Assembly and was considered the best recorder player in the school. Thanks to my Dad.

The other thing Dad did was not allow us to watch Count Down. We were so curious about Australian rock music, but it was banned in the house.

We did secretly sneak a glance at ABBA now and then. We knew their hits due to a friend of the family who played it to us whenever we visited her house in Devonport.

However, at home we were brought up on a strict musical diet of Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Paul and Mary, Irish Australian Ballads, Don McClean and my Dad’s greatest love Bach. He still loves all Classical Music. He would educate us about folk and classical. I am not sure we were always paying attention.

My parents both loved musicals and so there was Gilbert and Sullivan, Porgy and Bess and South Pacific blaring in the house too. Dad would sing these songs quite loudly in the house sometimes, especially Gilbert and Sullivan.

Today he does a radio program on musicals for community radio.

I loved stealing into my Dad’s record cabinet and pulling the old vinyls out. It used to make him mad though sometimes as he was worried I would scratch his records. He wasn’t to know it would all come out on CD years later. Perhaps then he would have been calmer. Still, I knew music was precious because of how much he cared about his record collection.

These songs and music still ring into my ears today. Whilst I watch and listen to popular music, I can see why my Dad was so keen for us to have an upbringing in music where the song writers wrote complicated lyrics.

But I must admit my children have a little more choice, but thankfully they grew bored with what I found ‘boring music’ very quickly.

I don’t play the recorder any more, but I still play my guitar, and like to write songs with complex lyrics and folk like melodies.

I took my family to Mumford and Sons recently, and thought about how much my Dad would like their music. I must remember to ask him whether he has listened to them, next time I facebook him.

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them!