In this poignant and honest story, written in the words of a young girl, Dad is the ultimate ‘Fix-It Man’, with amazing abilities to mend broken things. But what does it feel like when your Mama is so sick that she can’t be ‘fixed’?
The story follows the journey of the family as they struggle to come to terms with Mama’s serious illness. When she dies, Dad is so lost in grief that he can’t be ‘the rock’ that his daughter has grown to rely upon (at the very time that she needs him the most). Her world is falling apart and needs ‘urgent attention’, but the girl can’t fix all the things that are broken on her own. Hope shows signs of returning to the family when Dad regains enough mental strength to mend his daughter’s broken teddy bear, and the pair realise that they can get through anything if they stick together. The girl has learnt that glue and sticky tape won’t work in every situation, but everything can be mended with love.
This is a skilfully executed picture book: the tone is just right for children and those who have experienced loss should find recognition and comfort in its pages. Author Dimity Powell and illustrator Nicky Johnston have together created convincing characters with authentic emotions and realistic scenarios. The mother’s death has been wordlessly represented by a beautiful illustration of the father and daughter cuddled up in Mama’s quilt together, a beam of moonlight illuminating the quilt and the mobile that the mother has been making for them.