Review: Izzy and Frank

Izzy and Frank
Author: Katrina Lehman
Illustrator: Sophie Beer
Scrible, Melbourne Australia
Ages: 5 to 8 years old, Grades P to 2

Izzy loved everything about island living: no corners in her house, blue-sky-sunny days, playing in the sand, and her beloved Frank.

From the moment you gaze at the cover, Izzy’s bright smile, pale pale skin and gloriously red hair pull you into this charming picture book that literally pops off the page. Beer’s illustrations grab your attention with her beautifully detailed renderings rich in soft blues and warm earthy tones. The book, however, is more than just pretty pictures (and pretty they are), it tells a wonderful story of a girl that moves away, and starts a new life.

Izzy lived on a beautiful island where she shared many an adventure with her friend Frank, the seagull. Izzy loved everything about island living: no corners in her house, blue-sky-sunny days, playing in the sand, and her beloved Frank.

One day, Izzy had to move away from the island, and her beautiful lighthouse to the city. She was forced to say goodbye to Frank.

Finding herself in a new home, Izzy was unfamiliar with the new surroundings and rules. She also really missed Frank.

Can Izzy make it in the “big city?” Will she ever see Frank again? Well, that’s the rest of the story. And, rest assured, it has a happy ending. At least, happy enough to learn some things along the way.

In a beautiful alliterative style (“sparkly, spiky starfish”), laced with staccato sentences and well placed commas, Lehman captures two very distinct worlds for Izzy to grow in. And manages, at once, to communicate highly complex thoughts with very simple words. Take for instance:

Izzy ached for the wind in her hair and the taste of sand and salt in her mouth. She missed her lighthouse. She missed her island. And most of all, she missed Frank.

Izzy and Frank

The sentences do all the work for the reader. I often find parents saying, “I don’t know how to read story books to my child.” We’ll leave for another time that cop-out (or you could simply reference my discussion here). Lehman makes it easy. Go back and read the quotation outloud. Yes, you have to read the punctuation. The beauty of Lehman’s writing is in the detail. If you read it as written, it needs very little else. Add to a solid structure, a story that teaches adaptation in light of changing circumstances and a primer on how to make friends, and you’ve got a book that is a solid addition to your library.

As a bonus, you can find Teaching Notes at the Publisher’s Website to help supplement the reading. Click here.

Izzy and Frank (Hardcover at Amazon)*

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

My thanks to Edelweiss and the Publisher for providing an Advance Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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