Dad’s can fix anything right? After all, it’s what dads do.
A young girl’s Dad is the absolute best at fixing things. He can mend furniture, repair toys and untangle string. He’s always around to pick up the pieces and stick them back together after any ‘accident situations’. But there’s one thing that cannot be fixed, Mama. Mama is sick and when she is no longer around Dad and daughter need more than just glue and sticky tape to help repair their broken lives.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to experience the loss of a parent as a young child, that life-shattering moment when mummy or daddy is simply no longer around. How do you explain what has happened to a child? How do you explore their grief with them? How can you enable them to move on? Thankfully, the team at EK Books work with some incredibly talented authors and illustrators who seek to provide support, comfort and reassurance to parents and children.
Emotional, moving and tear-jerking, The Fix-It Man sensitively helps children deal with the death of a loved one. Following the family in the final days before Mama’s death, through the grieving process and finally to healing, the book brings beautiful words and illustrations to those moments when we don’t know what to say. Dad, Mama and daughter will break your heart and then slowly glue, stick and sew the pieces back together again - because that's exactly what dads do, with a little help from their daughters.
With Mama living her last days, there is much joy and happiness to be found as Dad and daughter build, play, dance and laugh whilst Mama watches on from her chair. When Mama dies the sadness is palpable, the monochromatic scene of Dad and daughter nestled in a beanbag with a previously high flying kite hanging limply from a photo frame will have everyone reaching for the tissues. Tears literally weep off of the pages as those things that seemed so easy to fix before are no longer quite so simple; the cracks in the coffee cup leak, a cuddly toy’s insides spill out and even Dad shows signs of cracking. Hearts are well and truly broken.
But where there is love there is hope and whilst a needle and thread, sticky tape and glue might not be able to fix broken hearts - damaged emotions are a bit more complicated to repair - the strength of love is more than enough to bring healing and help Dad and daughter through the most difficult of times.
This book meant a lot to me as I am reading it a time when the situation is all too real. A close friend of mine has terminal cancer. He has two young boys and a loving partner and I know that this book will be such a valuable tool in helping them deal with the grief and loss that is to come.
Will surely soothe the heart of many a young reader.
With huge thanks to EK Books for this touching story.
Recommended for 4+.