17 August 2009

Review: Albert the Fix-It Man Story by Janet Lord, Pictures by Julie Paschkis

Janet Lord has written a charming picture book about kindly, white-bearded, overall-wearing Albert, who just happens to know how to fix whatever is broken. There is nothing more Albert likes to do than to give his neighbors a hand, and no job is too big or too small for the fix-it man. Wherever he's needed, Albert and his toolbox save the day.

One morning, Albert wakes up, and he "feels dizzy and his bones ache." He can barely talk. Poor Albert! What will happen now? Once all the townspeople find out that Albert doesn't feel well, they join together to bring the fix-it man food, tea, and lots of good cheer.

This book is written for children aged 4 to 8. It is such a great story about helping others and respecting people of all ages and professions that Mr. BFR and I spent an evening going over the story, looking at the wonderful illustrations, and talking about the various lessons in the book: be kind to others, try to fix things before throwing them away, be respectful, and look for ways to help.

The beautiful folk-art illustrations were drawn by Lord's sister, Julie Paschkis. The cover illustration gives you just a taste of the sweetness of the pictures. The colors are bright and the people's and animal's expressions are immediately engaging. Paschkis was interviewed by Seven Impossible Things last year; that post has examples of her work.

Janet Lord lives in Pennsylvania and graciously agreed to be interviewed by me as part of the Literary Road Trip project. So please be sure to stop back tomorrow to learn more about the book and the people who inspired it. You truly won't want to miss this chance to get to know Janet.


I don't normally review picture books, but I absolutely love this one. In fact, before I sat down to read it, I thought I would pass the book along to a niece or nephew or a neighbor, but Mr. BFR and I decided that we really wanted to keep it.

But lucky for you, Peachtree Publishers kindly gave me another copy so that I can host a giveaway. This giveaway is open internationally. I will pick a winner when I turn on my computer in the morning of August 27. Here's how to enter:

1 entry for leaving a comment saying you want the book and telling me what you would like Albert to fix in your house
1 entry for either tweeting about the giveaway or mentioning the giveaway on your blog and (leave comment with link)
3 entries for being a subscriber or becoming a new subscriber (mention in comment)
1 entry for leaving a comment on TOMORROW's post on this blog, letting Janet and me know what you liked best about our interview together

That's a total of 6 entries per person. Be sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you and tell you that you won!

Published by Peachtree Press
ISBN-13: 9781561454334
Challenges: 999, 100+
YTD: 62
Rating: A


Melody 8/17/09, 6:54 AM  

That's a book I'm sure my daughter will appreciate!

I'd love Albert to make me a new bookcase! Oh, is that too much to ask? (I can't think of anything else to fix!) :P

melreadingcorner (at) gmail (dot) com

Sandy Nawrot 8/17/09, 7:08 AM  

So does he fix broken hearts, like in the song "Handyman"? Not that I have a broken heart. Well maybe I do. I've been spending the last week on a book that is less than 300 pages long, and my heart is broken that I have wasted the last week of my life. My kids are past this stage (although I thoroughly enjoy illustration) so I will leave the giveaway to those who have young ones.

Julie P. 8/17/09, 7:19 AM  

Hmmm. I don't have much that needs fixing, but I wouldn't mind having my tile re-done in my kitchen!

I tweeted and I am a subscriber!

rhapsodyinbooks 8/17/09, 7:49 AM  

Oh I need an Albert! I would like him to start with the doors, which are a bit warped, allowing all sorts of bugs from the outside to come right on in the house.

Thanks for the giveaway!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Louise 8/17/09, 8:05 AM  

Does Albert do general housework such as cleaning the dishes, vacuuming and such ;o) I live in an apartment where much bigger repairs are taken care of by general building maintenance, but inside the apartment itself....gosh, I could need a hand ;-)

Margot at Joyfully Retired 8/17/09, 8:24 AM  

I know a four-year-old who would love this book. Reading/looking at the interview post was a mini-art gallery tour. I live with my own Mr. Fix-It but I'd like the fictional Mr. Fix-It to fix up one of Julie Paschkis' posters for me. That is my kind of art.

margot DOT peck AT gmail DOT com
I'm already a subscriber.

bermudaonion 8/17/09, 8:57 AM  

I'm not going to enter since I don't have a little one, but wanted to say that I love the cover and the idea of the story.

jpetroroy 8/17/09, 9:49 AM  

I'd love him to fix my dishwasher.

Dorte H 8/17/09, 11:14 AM  

Don´t enter me for this one, but I really loved your review. And if I had had grandchildren ...

Erin 8/17/09, 11:49 AM  

Great review! I'm thrilled that you love the book so much! You've been great to work with!

Wanda 8/17/09, 1:18 PM  

I would love for Albert to fix my kitchen cabinet doors. They keep falling off.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Wanda 8/17/09, 1:18 PM  

I subscribe through Google Reader.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

The Bumbles 8/17/09, 11:14 PM  

I want Albert to come over and fix our shed because God knows Andy isn't ever going to do it! I think its cute that you guys decided to keep it all for yourself! I have a small collection of kids books too - I say they are for the nieces and nephews but I really just like them for myself ;0) I subscribe here and will check back in tomorrow.

Fiona 8/17/09, 11:43 PM  

Ooooh - I'd love to win this book! I have several nephews and nieces in the correct age range.

I think I need Albert to spend some time at my place helping my hubby with our renovations!


Fiona :)

Beth Kephart 8/18/09, 5:38 AM  

I once knew an Albert....

Ms. Bookish 8/18/09, 11:38 PM  

This sounds like a wonderful book! I'd love to have proper stairs around here :)

Veens 8/20/09, 1:38 AM  

SO cute! Really that's a lovely theme, and the book cover looks lovely too!

Enter me too!

Brimful Curiosities 8/20/09, 3:07 PM  

Last month hail hit our home and we have several things that need fixing like the siding and gutters. Need to find a fix-it man we can trust. Albert sounds like a good candidate. I'm sure my children would love reading the book with me.

Brimful Curiosities 8/20/09, 3:08 PM  

tweet: http://twitter.com/iambrimful/status/3433155649
(email in blogger profile)

MJ 8/20/09, 7:08 PM  

I'd love this for my kindergarten class. I'd love him to fix my shower...


MJ 8/20/09, 7:08 PM  

I follow!


MJ 8/20/09, 7:10 PM  

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/sumrthyme/status/3437614330


MJ 8/20/09, 7:21 PM  

I loved the interview! I love that she wrote the book about her dad!


Lisa 8/21/09, 10:24 AM  

Please enter me. I'd like hime to install the tile in the bathroom for us....

Cindy 8/21/09, 9:05 PM  

Michael would love this book I am sure of it.

I would love it if he could come and fix my basement so that it can be a family/playroom and laundry room.

I am a surbscriber and just retweeted this contest.

I am off to check out the interview and to leave my comment.

Sylvia 8/21/09, 9:15 PM  

I would like him to fix the attic in the garage

Staci 8/22/09, 1:08 AM  

This sounds like a great book! I'd love Albert to fix the window on our back porch door that's been on someone's to do list for well over 6 months!

ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:20 AM  

I would love to win this book for my grandson who is always carrying his "tools" in his pocket so that he can "fix it." I would like for Albert to paint my front door that is so scratched up.

Thank you,


ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:24 AM  

I tweeted your giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/3466988646

thank you,


ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:27 AM  

Entry 1

I became a new subscriber.

Thank you,


ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:28 AM  

Entry 2

I became a new subscriber.

Thank you,


ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:28 AM  

Entry 3

I became a new subscriber.

Thank you,


ossmcalc 8/22/09, 1:36 AM  

I left a comment on TOMORROW's post on your blog:

What a lovely interview! I love it that Albert is based upon her own father and that she and her sister have teamed up professionally. What better to write about than what you know best.

Thank you,


auntrene 8/22/09, 5:56 AM  

My Daycare kiddos would love to read about Albert.
We would love for Albert to come and put a new door on our backdoor.. We want one with a big window please.. Thanks Albert!

itsjustmerene2003 at yahoo dot com

Julie 8/22/09, 5:11 PM  

I love books-mmm Albert could come to my house and built me shelfs, etc.


Julie 8/22/09, 5:11 PM  

mail subsriber


Amy B. 8/22/09, 11:31 PM  

I would like this for my son.
I would also love to have my (bent) garage door fixed!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy B.

MoziEsm√© 8/23/09, 1:34 AM  

I want the swing put up for my daughter; and the water feature in our backyard completed! And a ton of other things...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings 8/23/09, 10:21 AM  

We've posted about this at Winning Readings:


janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Dawn 8/23/09, 7:01 PM  

Okay, I don't need Albert to fix anything as my house is brand new. My contractor husband does a beautiful job, so we can sell it later. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get my husband to built his librarian wife a few bookshelves. Do you think Albert would be willing? I have finally given him a cut off date until I just go out and buy the bloody thing!

Thanks you for offering this giveaway.

I am now following you through Google Reader.


windycindy 8/23/09, 7:56 PM  

Hi, My dad is 91 and has always been a fix-it man. My sons would love this book! I would like Albert
to fix our wooden fence and deck.
They need lots of work!
Many thanks, Cindi

windycindy 8/23/09, 8:03 PM  

I follow you on Twitter and Tweeted
this giveaway: http://twitter.com/cmh512/status/3501610978.
Thanks, Cindi

windycindy 8/23/09, 8:04 PM  

I now follow you via my Google Reader
Thanks much.....Cindi

Janet Halfmann 8/23/09, 9:57 PM  

My grandson would love this book. He loves fixing things with his grandpa and his dad. I would like Albert to build shelves in various spots in our house. I left a comment on your fun interview with the author.

Honey Mommy 8/23/09, 10:44 PM  

My hubby is a fix-it man, so my son would get a kick out of this! Albert could come and fix the windshield wiper pump on my car at the moment because my honey hasn't gotten to it yet!

Swati 8/24/09, 2:04 AM  

Wow, thats a lot of entries possible! So, lets see, my kid would love this book - but luck is something else altogether! And I am going to be subscribing, ie following actually. Not because of the giveaway, but because I liked the photo in your banner, and explored some more :) Thanks for the chance!

You can contact me via my blog, Hello, Net Baby! or via www.contactify.com/383df

Ticia 8/24/09, 8:00 AM  

I would love for Albert to come and fix my leaky toilet, that's never quite a priority enough to get fixed.

Rue 8/24/09, 9:27 AM  

My back door has issues with either sticking or having gaps around the frame in certain places. I just can't get it hung correctly. I'd love some help fixing that.
Thanks for the chance to win!
ruthann (dot) francis (at) gmail (dot) com

Kristi 8/24/09, 11:22 PM  

I would love to win this one for my little boy! I would also love it if Albert would come fix our kitchen floor!~

I am an old follower!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Dolphin Girl 8/25/09, 12:57 AM  

I would love to win and I would love to have him fix our two toilets!

Swati 8/25/09, 1:23 PM  

Duh, I forgot to write what I want Albert to fix in my home!!! Apart from my leaking memory, perhaps he could do the plumbing? Horrible seepage and drips are plaguing us nowadays.

(This is an addendum to my comment four comments above).

Beth,  8/25/09, 2:42 PM  

I would love Albert to fix my closet. I always wanted those shelves and such!
Please enter me.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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