The Fix-It Man

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Teacher’s Notes available here.

The Fix-It Man is a poignant picture book that explores how a child can cope with the loss of a parent (in this case, the young girl’s mother). Repairing damaged emotions is not as straightforward as gluing a broken kite back together or sewing up a torn toy.

And grief affects all members of a family, with each responding in their own way to the loss. By sticking with her father, the young girl is able to strengthen her resilience and ability to cope with one of life’s harshest experiences.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 245 x 255 mm / 9 ½ x 10 Inches | Colour | 32 Pages |

Dimity Powell has trekked through many parts of the world and crossed several of its oceans, collecting story ideas along the way. She loves transforming these into kids’ books because, deep down, she’d love to be a kid again. When she’s not writing stories, she’s reviewing books or acting as a Books in Homes role model — or eating her body weight in ice-cream.

Nicky Johnston is an educator, speaker and author/illustrator of children’s books. She is passionate about promoting emotional resilience in children and raising awareness of mental health issues. Her love of teaching sees her kept busy with school visits and presenting at workshops and conferences.

It’s handy having a dad who can fix just about anything. A young girl believes her father is the king of fixing things. But following the death of her mother, she discovers that broken hearts are not as easy to repair as damaged toys and cracked teapots.

Together, she and her father find a way to glue back the pieces of her lives. The Fix-It Man is a poignant picture book that explores how a child can cope with the loss of a parent (in this case, the young girl’s mother). Repairing damaged emotions is not as straightforward as gluing a broken kite back together or sewing up a torn toy.

And grief affects all members of a family, with each responding in their own way to the loss. By sticking with her father, the young girl is able to strengthen her resilience and ability to cope with one of life’s harshest experiences.

The author was encouraged to seek publication for this story after receiving the endorsement of several grief counsellors who work with children and who recognised the need for a book such as this.

Additional information

Book Type

eBook ePub, eBook Mobi, Hardback + eBook ePub, Hardback

Kellie Byrnes Blog, January 2018
What influences do you think shape your writing?
“Life. Past experiences and sensations. The memory vault is a marvellous place to visit when short on ideas, which I never am. Perhaps subliminally I am influenced by what I am reading or have recently read although I never consciously am aware of it.” Click here to read the full Q&A


Pearlz Dreaming, April 2017
Feature Article, “How to Launch a Children’s Book About Loss.” – Click here to view.


The Peninsula Star, March 2017
Nicky Johnston, illustrator of The Fix-It Man on why she decided to be apart of this great story. Click here to read the interview.


Ultra 106Five, March 2017
Dave from Ultra 106Five sits down to chat with Dimity Powell, author of The Fix-It Man.  Click here to listen in.


Austereo Maryborough Breakfast Show, March 2017
Tune in to Dimity Powell interviewed on the Maryborough Breakfast Show!


ABC Canberra, March 2017
Dimity Powell, author of The Fix-It Man as interviewed by Laura Tchilinguirian on ABC Canberra.


Herald Sun/Leader Community Newspaper, February 2017
“Langwarrin illustrator Nicky Johnston’s book The Fix-It Man helps parents, children deal with loss” – Interview with Nicky Johnston. Click here to read in full.


Herald Sun/Leader Community Newspaper
“Langwarrin illustrator Nicky Johnston’s book The Fix-It Man helps parents, children deal with loss” – Interview with Nicky Johnston. Click here to read in full.

Boomerang Books, Top Picks
“I defy anyone to read this book and not tear up. This is such a lovely book, that says so much, even with pages where there are no words.”  – 
Click here to read in full.


Picture Bookden
“It’s beautiful (the text and the pictures) and uplifting with love bursting through each page, even during a time of desperate sadness.” – Click here to read full review.


The School Librarian
‘This book is ideal not just for the… classroom, but also for families so that children are helped to come to terms with the death of a loved one’


Big Sister Blogs
“… as you continue to revisit this story you’ll take comfort in its healing power. The co-authors crafts are much appreciated in handling the sensitivity of grief and a hurting heart with empathy, tenderness and love”. – Click here to view.


Growing Up Madison
“… a great way to introduce children to loss and one that I love.”


Peninsula Kids Magazine
“A young girl believes that her father is the king of fixing things. But, following the death of her mother she discovers that broken hearts are not so easy to repair.”


Boomerang Books
“another favourite to share with Dad is the “poignant, perfectly pitched and picture perfect”; The Fix-It Man by Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston. A deeply significant, achingly heartbreaking and heartwarming tale, all at the same time.”


Children’s Books Daily
The Fix-It Man is a thoughtful, caring story of a young child dealing with grief and loss.”


Geelong Coast Kids
“A poignant picture book that explores how a child can cope with loss”


Books, Teacups and Cup Cakes
The Fix-It Man is not just for kids. It’s for grown-ups too – I believe it reaches out to two, even three generations in the cycle of life, whispering the roles of helping each other through difficult times.”


Reading Time
“Loss is inevitable but with tools like this story I believe children are empowered to navigate new and difficult life experiences or to relate to others during challenging time”


The Book Chook
“Powell tells this gentle story in a way kids will understand. Even quite young children know that not everything can be fixed with glue or sticky tape, and they will gradually gain an understanding that some things can’t be fixed at all…The whole message of the book is pragmatic but positive, poignant and powerful.”


Pinerolo Newsletter
“Dads are really handy and the loving relationship in this book is well described. Together, the girl and her dad fix everything. Appealing, loving illustrations complete the picture.”


School Days Magazine
“A lovely book, beautifully illustrated and good story for bonding daughters and dads”


Sunday Telegraph
The Fix-It Man is a thoughtful, caring, picture book story exploring how grief and loss affect a young child … This is an important book. It’s hard to discuss grief and loss with a young child. The Fix-It Man provides a way to do that.”


Pass It On
“This is a truly moving story. Every word is perfect”


Batch of Books
“A heart wrenching story packed into picture book format, this book will resonate with children who have lost loved ones. A good read aloud about dealing with trials and clinging to your family when the going gets rough.”


The Mummy Project
“In The Fix-It Man, author Dimity Powell and illustrator Nicky Johnston have created a truly beautiful book to help kids with their emotional needs around loss.”


Hip Little One
“Written with great compassion by Dimity Powell and beautifully illustrated by Nicky Johnston The Fix-It Man is a perfect read for families going through a difficult time of grieving” 


Disney Princesses Magazine
“A beautiful way to talk about loss and grief” 


Gold Coast Bulletin
“Compelling Children’s Book”


Creative Kids Tales
“This story will pull at the heart strings and prompt conversations otherwise hidden beneath broken hearts.”


Jnr Bookworms
“Teachers agreed this would be a wonderful resource for a child dealing with loss with its gentle approach.”


NC Teacher Stuff
“Achingly beautiful, The Fix-It Man is a gentle touch that can help children and adults deal with the loss of a loved one … With examples like the patching of a teddy bear starting the mending of two hearts, this book will lead to important discussions about how people move on in a time of loss.”


Kid’s Book Review
“Heartwarming, moving and thoroughly accessible to the very young – this is a book that will soothe the heart of many a reader. When it comes to loss and the possibility of understanding and healing, The Fix-It Man has nailed it.”


In The Good Books
“a fantastic book for those wanting to help teach their child about loss. ”


Boomerang Books
“Poignant, perfectly pitched and picture perfect”


The Bottom Shelf
“This is a poignant story of loss and one that will resonate with many children who have lost a parent or other loved one.  With its gentle text and soft palette, even though it is sad it is not gloomy because the love between this family oozes from the page and from that, the hope is tangible.”


The Bookseller
“a poignant story of bereavement, this is an excellent starting point for exploring emotions of grief and loss with young children.”


Scholastic
“We all think it’s lovely – the way in which death and grief is dealt with is gentle and not overpowering.”

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Sally-Anne McCormack, Melbourne-based Child & Adolescent Psychologist and author (www.sally-annemccormack.com.au)

“The Fix-It Man is a story that reflects the challenges of losing a loved one, acknowledging that there is a pain which cannot be fixed, but also acknowledging that with love and support, a child can move forward after a major loss.  Many people avoid the topic of death, but in this book it is addressed respectfully and sensitively, and I believe that this will be a wonderful resource for those helping children deal with grief and loss.”


Deirdre Hanna, Founder and Board Director – Hopewell Hospice Services Inc. and Paradise Kids.

“Beautifully written and illustrated, The Fix-It Man is a valuable tool for educators, parents, schools and all parents. It shows metaphorically and symbolically that through persevering and getting on with ordinary life tasks, even through the harsh reality of loss, a deeper level of love and understanding can emerge. This is a wonderful book also to benefit men as role models for grieving children, as it shows that both task AND relationship are powerful healers in the grieving process.

Over the past twenty years Paradise Kids has helped children ‘heal the heartache’ through psycho-education about the grief process through art, story-telling, movement, music and literature. We are excited to add this deeply touching story to our resources to help grieving children heal.”