Saturday 28 April 2018

Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess

Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess by Roxanne Kiely, illustrated by Jeesoo Kim (Busy Ink Publishing) PB ISBN 9780994551016

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Children across the globe enjoy songs, music and games, as well as rhythm and rhyme, which is why the CEO of the World Literacy Foundation says he highly recommends the books in the Busy Izzy series for children. 

The illustrated book suitable for readers 5 to 8 years starts with the words, ‘Do you have a friend who talks a lot?/Natters and chatters and doesn’t stop?’ Busy Izzy, the book’s protagonist, has such a friend who not only talks fast, but also last, sounding like one of those people who we say can talk under water. Tess is present while Izzy and her friends are working in the garden, but she ruins the activity with a series of accidents and her constant chatter.

Happily, Izzy patiently explains to Tess about taking her turn when in company and Tessa accepts she’s hogged the limelight: she apologises, and Izzy and her friends are better able to enjoy their friend. The group write stories which they share and then sing a song about friendship.

The Izzy series is aimed at creating and developing friendships among children. On the back page of this book is a list of ingredients for friendship, which includes patience, kindness, understanding, fun, listening and more. Without doubt, Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess manages to cover all the bases of friendship. The story is told in rhyming verse which would suit reading aloud, and the story could easily be adapted to theatre with young readers acting out the parts of Izzy, Tess, and their group of friends.

Not only is there a book, but there’s also a CD with well-known Australian actor Bec Hewett featured as the voice of talkative Tess. All songs have been written by the author and Stephen Kiely.

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Busy Izzy books is donated to the World Literacy Foundation. You can find more about the books and related materials on and on Facebook, YouTube and the Busy Izzy app.

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