Albert the Fix-It Manby Janet Lord, Julie Paschkis
Albert is always on the lookout for things to fix. If a hinge is rusty, he oils it. If a roof is leaky, he patches it. When Mr. Jensen's old green pickup needs a new motor, Albert hoists up the truck and drops it in. All his neighbors count on Albert to help them. He is never too busy or too tired to help. But one day Albert is too sick to get out of bed. He's
Albert is always on the lookout for things to fix. If a hinge is rusty, he oils it. If a roof is leaky, he patches it. When Mr. Jensen's old green pickup needs a new motor, Albert hoists up the truck and drops it in. All his neighbors count on Albert to help them. He is never too busy or too tired to help. But one day Albert is too sick to get out of bed. He's dizzy and his bones ache. When his neighbors find out, they all lend a hand to help Albert. Thanks to his friends, he is quickly on the mend.
Folkloric illustrations perk up this sister team's (Here Comes Grandma) otherwise modest tale about the value of community. Decked out in plaid shirt and overalls and sporting a snowy white beard that Santa might envy, Albert fixes Mr. Jensen's truck, fastens Akiko's clothesline and repairs Mrs. Peabody's leaky faucet; no job is too small. When Albert catches cold and takes to his bed, Mr. Jenkins drives the neighbors to Albert's house, where he is served beans from the garden he fenced, mint tea in the cup he mended and an apple pie covered with a cloth from the clothesline. Visual details enhance the story: the characters are of various ages and races; many different kinds of tools are put to use. Animals, including Albert's spotted gray cat, romp freely throughout. Paschkis favors flat shapes filled with decoration, using geometric patterns to adorn curtains, tablecloths and dresses, for example, and presenting plants and foliage as stylized ornaments. Readers will appreciate the warm portrayal of neighbors taking care of one another. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr 1- Life would be sweeter if everyone had a neighbor like Albert. He strolls through the community with his trusty toolbox in hand, alert to all sorts of repair opportunities, from rusty hinges, loose shingles, and fussy motors to leaky faucets and broken crockery. His generosity and skill are much appreciated, so when poor Albert is laid up with a cold, his neighbors waste no time making use of all of the items he's fixed to return the favor. This is a simple story that celebrates the virtue of good neighbors and shared kindnesses, made all the more charming by the folk-inspired illustrations that use cheery colors and bold patterns to convey a sense of warmth and community. Albert himself is a picture of amiability with his fluffy white beard, jaunty red baseball cap, and overalls-just the sort of avuncular man who earns the trust and admiration of those around him. An added delight is the wonderful white-on-black endpapers featuring just about every kind of tool and gadget that might be found in Albert's toolbox. A welcome dose of old-fashioned neighborliness.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
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