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The Fixer and the Garage Door
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An empowering and heart-warming book for young ones who have a passion for helping others, especially their family in times of need.
"I'm the man of the house! And, everyone knows the man of the house needs some tools to fix things around the house!" THE FIXER AND THE GARAGE DOOR is a story of a good-hearted teenage boy who wants to take care of his Mama by ensuring that he takes care of everything in his house that needs fixing since his Papa passed away. His uncle notices his passion and buys him "The Best Present Ever!" a hand power tool. Charlie gets to work and takes care of all the repairs. When his Mama tells him a snake almost bites her. It comes in through the broken seals on top of the garage door; he's baffled. "No snake's biting anyone!" he tells himself, so he sets out to cover the holes, but he learns that fixing the garage door requires some expertise.
“The Fixer and the Garage Door” by Uzoma (Uzo) Ezekwudo is the delightful story of Charlie, the responsible teenager who has the talent and the passion to fix things around the house. Living with his Mama after his father passed away, he always tried to help by being the “man of the house”.
This is a story that instills a sense of responsibility for the young. It is not only the adults that can do something for the family. Even kids can help their parents by using the talent and skills they possess. It’s such a joy to see Charlie trying to help his Mama solve some problems around the house using the special tool his Uncle Jay gave him for his birthday.
Brimming with lessons for life and matched with colorful and lovely illustrations that help create the mood for the story, this book is a treasure that can be read over and over, especially for kids who have a gift for fixing things.
I love the drawings that remind me of attractive cartoon strips where the story’s characters come to life. Charlie and his family looked so amazing and fun to be with, I could spend a day with them and never notice the time. I’m sure kids would also find it easy to relate with them and even see themselves fixing things around the house like Charlie.
This book is also realistic enough to show that there are some things that even well-intentioned young ones couldn’t do by themselves. What do you do when your efforts only seem to make matters worse? Is there still hope when the unexpected suddenly happens to you?
I recommend this book to all of those who want to teach their kids love for work, accountability for what you do and seeking help when the task at hand is more than what you are capable of. It’s a unique book meant to empower young people who should never be disheartened by temporary setbacks along the way.
Hi, I'm Joyce! I review Children's Books as well as Christian, Fantasy, Romance, Memoirs, and Mystery Books. I do freelance as well as book club reviews. I'm also a novelist, poet, and self-help author. My inspirational blog is definitely a place to share reviews from a similar genre.
The Fixer and the Garage Door
Written by Uzoma (Uzo) Ezekwudo
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Uzoma (Uzo) R. Ezekwudo is an author and an exquisite hand batik artist. She is the author of LEE AND LIMBO: Friends Come and Go, Life continues and Gets Better. Uzo loves creativity, and she says, “I love to be in my creative universe because it’s peaceful, fun and therapeutic.” view profile
Published on January 27, 2021
Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆
Genre: Picture Books
Reviews @ Booktrib
Finding Joy After Losing a Friend in the Touching Story “Lee and Limbo”
When I was a child, I lived just two houses down from my friend Emily, and on snow days I would bring my sled over to her house. When my parents told me that Emily was moving away, I was so sad to say goodbye — but I was also scared of what was going to happen next. Who would move into Emily’s old house? Would I be able to make a new friend, or would I be sledding solo?
Chances are, you probably have a similar story. A friend moving away can be a difficult thing for many children to cope with. It’s comforting for them to know that they’re not alone, and that their sadness won’t last forever. Uzoma R. Ezekwudo’s wonderfully touching new book, Lee and Limbo, is the perfect story to help them deal with these turbulent emotions.
MOVING ON AFTER LOSS
Every morning, Limbo the cat walks over to her friend Lee’s house on 7 Lamar Lane. There, the two cats spend the whole day playing in the yard, splashing in the birdbath and chasing butterflies. They’re best friends, and Limbo can’t imagine doing anything without Lee there by her side.
That is, until Lee’s family has to move away. Limbo waits at Lee’s old home and meows for him to come out, but the house is empty. She returns to the yard every day, just in case he comes back — but he doesn’t. It seems Lee’s left for good.
Limbo wanders around Lee’s old yard, sad and confused, missing her best friend terribly. But one day, a new family comes and moves into the house. Even more exciting, the family has two pets: a cat named Eli and a poodle named Sugar.
At first, Limbo hesitates to introduce herself — after being Lee’s friend for so long and then having to say goodbye, she’s unsure of making new friends. What if they don’t like her? But despite her fears, Limbo is quickly welcomed into the group. Soon she’s back to playing with her neighbors and feeling happier than she has in ages. Limbo doesn’t forget the friendship she had with Lee, but her new friends bring her comfort and help her find joy once again.
REAL LIFE INSPIRATION
The emotion in this story is so genuine, it turns out, because Ezekwudo was influenced by a true story. “I was inspired to write Lee and Limbo by the genuine friendship and love between two cats in Chapel Hill, a beautiful, small University town in North Carolina where love abounds. When Lee left and Limbo became sad, I realized that animals, like human beings, experience deep emotional bonds, too.”
This real-life inspiration shows just how relatable this story is — whether you’re a person or a cat, you’ve probably had to deal with a long-distance friendship, or even the loss of one. This book brings comfort by telling us that there’s nothing wrong with feeling sadness, and that the heartache is a testament to the love that you shared.
Zulfikar Rachiman’s beautiful, colorful illustrations mesh perfectly with Ezekwudo’s storytelling, creating an immersive reading experience that will capture any reader’s eye, young or old. Lee and Limbo also includes an original song celebrating friendship called “Make New Friends.” The author also provides questions for young readers, encouraging critical thought about the story and strengthening reading comprehension.
As the cover reads, “Friends come and go, life continues and gets better.” Lee and Limbo demonstrates this sentiment perfectly, reminding us that while our time with our loved ones may be temporary, the bond that is formed can last a lifetime. While we may still feel the lingering sadness of that absence, we shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to exciting new friendships.
Buy this book!
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© Uzoma Ezekwudo
About Uzoma R. Ezekwudo.
Uzoma R. Ezekwudo has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a teen, she loved telling stories and creating songs for the stories. As an adult, she loves creative writing; songs, stories, plays and poems.
About Zulfikar Rachman:
Zulfikar Rachman was born in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, in 1984. He started painting when he was four years old, and his parents supported his creativity. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication Design. The experiences he got compiling images into book layouts working with a Print Media Company opened up opportunities for him. He worked with several writers and designers, creating comics and storybooks, board-games, and other illustrations. He loves reading comics, drawing characters and watching story films. To this day, he spends his entire life drawing!
BOOKLIFE REVIEWS @ PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY
| Website: Naturenurturemade.com
Category: Fiction: General Fiction (including literary and historical); Audience: Children/Young Adult
Synopsis: Animals, like human beings, experience deep emotional bonds, too. Lee and Limbo is a story of genuine friendship and love between two cats in Chapel Hill, a beautiful, small University town in North Carolina where love abounds. When Lee suddenly left, Limbo became sad and depressed. It was heartbreaking watching her deteriorated over the years. Just when Limbo was on a brink of despair, a miracle happened! A heartfelt tribute to friendship, loss, resilience, hope, and joy that come when they’re needed most. “Friends come and go, but life continues and gets better.” Appreciate your old friends; make and enjoy the new ones. Lee and Limbo is a well-illustrated, vibrant picture book with music for kids three and up. It’s about having fun while learning valuable life lessons about: love, friendship, disappointment, loss of a loved one, a pet, growing up, school life, anxiety, and trouble socializing. The story is a heartwarming way to look at a loss with gratitude and hope instead of heartbreak, great for a bedtime story. Illustrations are bright, lively, and emotionally expressive. The book is a BOWL OF JOY for family, school, community, and youth entertainment. Children may learn to sing, read music notes, and play musical instruments.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Themes of friendship, loss, and healing permeate Ezekwudo's picture book tale of two country cats, Lee and Limbo. Limbo visits Lee every day at 7 Lamar Lane, and together they stretch on the grass, play hide and seek, chase butterflies in the garden, and drink water from the birdbath. When Lee's owner moves away, taking Lee along, Limbo is devastated, unable to muster the enthusiasm for much besides meowing sadly and pawing at the windows of Lee's old house, hoping for Lee’s return . One day she finds a new family of two children, a cat, Eli, and a Poodle, Sugar, has moved in. Soon enough, the children grow fond of Limbo. And, so do Eli and Sugar. But with Lee still on Limbo's mind, will Limbo ever move past the grief of losing an old, dear friend and start making new ones?
Ezekwudo and illustrator Zulfikar Rachman depict Limbo’s loneliness with grace and feeling, offering young readers an uncomplicated examination of themes of loss, change, and acceptance. Rachman's digital and hand paintings enliven the cat’s lush world with affecting nuances and evocative settings. Employing bright tones for cheerful sequences, Rachman ably contrasts Limbo's despair and loneliness with darker tones.
Diverse human characters and sensitive narration amplify the plot's welcoming warmth, and, together, Ezekwudo and Rachman infuse this ultimately hopeful and engaging tale with a poignant delicacy. The pacing, however, occasionally loses steam owing to verbosity. Nonetheless, this picture book makes for a wholesome bedtime read complete with notation for a cheerful song, “Make New Friends.” Also present is a helpful questionnaire inviting readers to contemplate the tale’s themes. Casting a steady and perceptive light at the loneliness and devastation that comes with losing a friendship, Lee and Limbo stands as memorable juvenile fiction replete with accessible wisdom.
Takeaway: Readers aged 4-8 will find much to appreciate in this pleasing tale of friendship between cats.
Great for fans of: Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat, Caron Lewis and Charles Santoso’s Ida, Always
Ezekwudo and Rachman infuse this ultimately hopeful and engaging tale with a poignant delicacy. The pacing, however, occasionally loses steam owing to verbosity. Nonetheless, this picture book makes for a wholesome bedtime read complete with notation for a cheerful song, “Make New Friends.” Also present is a helpful questionnaire inviting readers to contemplate the tale’s themes. Casting a steady and perceptive light at the loneliness and devastation that comes with losing a friendship, Lee and Limbo stands as memorable juvenile fiction replete with accessible wisdom.