Book Club: Busy Izzy and Friends

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Author: Roxanne Kiely
Illustrator: Jeesoo Kim
ISBN: 978-0-646-94104-2
RRP: $14.99

Children’s books are generally ones that you read over and over…and over and over again, especially when they are ones that the children love. Now, any book that you read a million times is going to get irritating for an adult but depending on how the book is written that can be exacerbated, or minimised.

We have looked at a few children’s books of late and the others have been very nature-centred and the illustrations are enough to keep little readers entertained for hours.

Busy Izzy is very different to what we’ve been reading in that respect. She is a 12year old girl with an inclusive group of friends and a nifty little store calls ‘Nix & Nax’. Her stories are told with rhyme and a great rhythm.

The characters are named with great alliteration or rhyme; we have Busy Izzy, Even Evan, Mathematic Max, Bossy Bobby, Worried Warren, Talkative Tess, Sensible Steven, Modern Mo Li, Secret-agent Skye and Newly Truly the rescue pup.

Busy Izzy is an intelligent and industrious young lady who always knows what to do. She makes delicious healthy snacks and has a section of the store for everyone.

There are books, instruments, snacks, nix and nax (of course) as well as camaraderie and teamwork. Busy Izzy always knows what to do so she is always willing to help out and do what she can when there’s someone in trouble. Lost pets, injured birds, snow to shovel, bikes to fix – Busy Izzy loves to be busy.

The first book comes with a CD of special songs created just for Busy Izzy to get your little learners up and moving, and learning their alphabet. At the back of the book there are a couple of Busy Izzy’s favourite recipes for healthy snaxalicious snacks that you can make at home with the kids.

Busy Izzy

Busy Izzy is set to be a 10 book series and I have been reading the first two.

Busy Izzy and Friends introduces us to Izzy and her friends while giving us a bit of a look at the store and their home town of Green Grass Grove.

Included in the back of this book is a CD with sing-along-songs and a narration of the first book. The songs are reminiscent of Play School to me, so they are low on tech, high on harmony and energy and sure to get your children up and moving as they sing-along.

Busy Izzy and Newly Truly The Big Surprise takes us away from Nix & Nax, which is left in the capable hands of Izzy’s friends, to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to adopt a pet.

This book gives us an insight into SPCA shelters, the one Izzy visits is filled with all sorts of animals, not just the ones you would think of as domestic pets. Izzy finds a puppy that she just can’t leave behind and so Newly Truly finds a forever friend, and home, with Izzy.

Through fun rhymes and vibrant pictures we learn about pets, their signals and their care; feeding, playing and reading what they want through their body language. Newly Truly is also a very special pup who tells the story of how he came to be a rescue pup, an informative story that everyone needs to be reminded of to reduce the number of dogs, and all other animals, in rescue shelters.

Again the book ends with a few pages of recipes that can be made with your little learner. Some of them actually sound very delicious and I am going to test them out.

The Busy Izzy books have been endorsed by the World Literacy Foundation and part proceeds of the sale of Busy Izzy books are donated to

10 of our Beauty and Lace club members are lucky enough to be singing and reading along to Busy Izzy with their children thanks to Busy Ink and Wordstorm PR so I am looking forward to hearing what they think in the comments below.

Busy Izzy is available through selected bookstores, Booktopia, Book Depository and Busy Ink.

10 thoughts on “Book Club: Busy Izzy and Friends

  1. My daughter & I were lucky enough to review two Busy Izzy books . My 8 year old loved them & has read them many times over the last week . She struggles with reading but was able to read independently and also enjoyed following along on the included disc at bedtime .

    *Lauren age 8 *- in her own words , typed by mum 🙂
    She liked that Izzy was a nice person , always helped people & was friendly to everyone . She loved Newly Truly and now wants to adopt her own dog .

  2. school holidays are not boring, when you have books like Izzy to look at and to slowly read… I sat with my two and showed them page by page the first book, and we then looked at the printed words, and last of all the cooking… My ,that set the cat amongst the pidgeons, as they say, when both want to make the same item at the same time… Never mind we will get past that later…… The second books gives an insight of what our children consider and think about pets, and this was one eye opener for both of mine… We also discussed at length what is necessary to take on a pet, and how you must be very willing to give up your time, if you take on a dog, to be able to bathe, and groom, and walk and look to them every single day.., at present the pet idea has been shelved until they get a bit older, as both realise there is a lot of work involved to really be a good carer for animals… The author has gone into a lot of details to explain at a childrens level, and to me this is very important, and there are not many books around that do that… The words are easy to read, and the cd is an asset to all who are wanting to learn constantly…..
    My children have enjoyed todays read, and I have promised that we will try and read the first one every day, so that they can learn the words, and get to understand the kitchen processes that they will be able to slowly make and eat….. Next week we will go back again to book 2, and that to will give them a better idea of how it is for animals, and their owners.

    as our girl says….. its great to be able to know….. .what one needs to know. about looking after animals… and thanks to the author who has helped with that subject.

  3. The two books ‘Busy Izzy and Friends’ and ‘Busy Izzy and Newly Truly’ are educational children’s book written by Roxanne Kiely.

    Busy Izzy and Friends – Busy Izzy is a helpful gal. She owns a store that her friends come to shop and eat healthy homemade snacks prepared by Busy Izzy. Busy Izzy and friends garden, read, research, fix what needs to be mended and help animals in need. Busy Izzy is very safety and health conscience. She has lots of constructive fun with her friends!

    Busy Izzy and Newly Truly – Busy Izzy visits a animal shelter and adopts a pet. She shows her friends how to take care of her new pet. This book is all about how to treat and respect animals.

    I read the books to my daughter and other children her age (3year olds) at daycare. I found that while they were engaged to start with – these books are better suited to older age group 4+ to school aged.

    I liked that these books were packed with lots of educational messages and the CD and recipes added extra content for learning.

    We are yet to try a recipe but they did sound very healthy! The CD we played in the car on the way to school and the younger children really enjoyed it.

    Overall I enjoyed that the books rhymed and were easy to read to children. Its nice to have stories that make children think about what is the right thing to do and how we can better ourselves!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for allowing me to review this will be a great addition to the children’s book case with much learning to be had!

  4. My two younger daughters, aged 6 and 8, were intrigued and excited when I told them that they had the important job of reviewing these books! 🙂
    I read both Busy Izzy and Friends, and Busy Izzy and Newly Truly to my 6 year old.
    My 8 yr old read them to me.
    I began with Busy Izzy and Newly Truly (having looked at both book covers, but not reading the blurb on the back cover, I assumed this book was first as the dog, Newly Truly, is on the front cover of Busy Izzy and Friends. However, it turns out that Busy Izzy and Friends is the first book in the series. I found this a bit confusing – why would the dog be on the cover of the first book if he isn’t introduced as a character until the next book??)
    But it didn’t make much of a difference which order they were read in.
    My 6 year old loved Busy Izzy and Newly Truly; this was her favourite out of the two. She sat through both of the stories, but lost a bit of interest about halfway though Busy Izzy and Friends. When I played the cd, she really enjoyed it, and I heard her singing the songs throughout the day. (The songs are catchy, with easy lyrics, and a nice melody.)
    When I asked my 8 yr old what she liked about the books, she she said she liked how the story rhymes, even though she got a little tongue-tied reading some of it, and she also liked the names of the characters as they help form an identity for each character. She also liked that the books include recipes (as she loves helping out in the kitchen). Like her sister, she loved Busy Izzy and Newly Truly more out of the two stories. She was really interested about learning about the SPCA (we had actually visited our local RSPCA the week prior, and we made comparisons to that). We spoke of the importance of looking after a pet (we have never owned a dog, but we do have a pet rabbit), and taking care of it in the correct way.
    My daughter asked me if she could go to the Busy Izzy website, so I allowed her to do so. She said it would be good if there were games to play on there, as opposed to having games/colouring sheets that need to be printed out.
    From a parents’ perspective, I would say that both books are educational whilst entertaining. I think they would be suitable for young readers aged 6+.
    Thank you for the opportunity to read and review these books.

  5. my disabled son love reading Buzzy Izzy and friends, I read it first to him then he tried hard to read it back to me, I found there was just enough story on each page to keep his attentiion on reading, he love the sing along cd and has played it over and over a few times and singing along has helped to calm him down when he got a little frustrated. it would be nice if they also introduced the story being read on cd as that could help children learn to read if they follow along.
    over all this was a great book in helping children read in book form instead of on the computer, an art which seems to be dying out.
    my sister has borrowed the books and cds for her children to read and see if they liked it as much as we did.
    I tough them how to look after a pet and follow Izzy on what to do and what not to do there should be more books on these lines to help educate young children on the rights and wrongs of things

  6. Thanks so much for letting us review these books. We have found them so wonderfully beautiful in how it not only has a great rhyming feel to it but also how much Busy Izzy can help and teach my daughter.

    The first book Busy Izzy and Friends, is wonderful as each child in the book really does represent so many of my daughter’s friends and herself so lets her relate to the characters. The CD is a great bonus as it’s included with this book. It has the book to listen to as well as some very addictive songs. My daughter loved these instantly

    The second book Busy Izzy and Newly Truly The Big Surprise is another amazing book teaching kids about getting a new pet from a rescue organisation. Such a wonderful thing to teach. My daughter loved this one too.

    Both books are fantastic as they also include some healthy recipes (of foods Izzy has made in the book for her friends and pet dog). We will have to make these soon as they sound delicious.

    We really loved reading these as part of the review. Thank you so much as these really are books that aren’t just a story but also a great learning tool.

  7. Thank you beauty and lace for introducing us to the world of Busy Izzy, my sons favourite was Busy Izzy and Newly Truly The Big Surprise, he loved learning about caring and looking after Izzy’s new pet dog Newly Truly. The alliteration, clear large text and bright colourful pictures made it a favourite in my house, as I read the books it was easy for my little boy to follow along. The bonus recipes encouraged healthy snacks to be created by the whole family. Busy Izzy and friends demonstrated the great diversity of people in our community and represented many of the different children in our playgroup. The sing a long CD was an enjoyable bonus which we have been listening to in the car, my little boy loves to sing a long (at the top of his voice). The positive attitude and helpful nature of busy Izzy and her friends will be enjoyed over and over again these holidays

  8. I was a bit hesitant to introduce this book to my niece as I thought it would be a bit old for her (she’s about to turn two). However she actually sat down and we read the whole book together. It’s the first time that she has sat that long to read a book, usually getting up half way through. The CD was great with the sing a long and the healthy recipes. A big hit and will love to read these to friends kids as well.

  9. What perfect timing, thank you Beauty and Lace for providing Busy Izzy and Friends and also Busy Izzy and Newly Truly for me to share with my 5 year old son during the school holidays.

    My son just loves books and he was so excited to see this come in the mail. When he realized that the one of the books came with a sing a long CD he was over the moon. He has a CD player in his room and loves to listen to audio books and play his own music during his quiet/ relaxation time.

    We read Busy Izzy and Newly Truly together and my son thoroughly enjoyed the story, the rhymes and looking at all the illustrations. I liked how it incorporated the importance of responsible pet ownership, introduced the idea of pet adoption and also of course described the wonderful reward of love and affection when you welcome a forever pet into your family.

    We haven’t had a chance to try all the healthy but delicious recipes but I’m sure we will very soon.

    I think Busy Izzy is a great book, its easy to read to your children and suitable for both girls and boys. The stories are fun and exciting, with adventures to capture your child’s interest.
    When I asked my son what he liked best, he said “Everything!!!” So a big thumbs up from both of us.

  10. Busy Izzy and Friends and Busy Izzy and Newly truly are two both well written beautifully illustrated childrens strories. Both Beautifully delivered with lots of great information for kids inside. From Safety, healthy eating, Friends, sharing , sun safety and even catchy songs at the end of book of friends. Even recipes as well within the pages.

    The stories are told with rythym, even down to the characters names rhyming. Every characters name starting with a certain letter of the alphabet to ending with a rhyming one.

    The writing is nice and large, easily read by any child who is able to read, my 10 year old daughter and I listened and read along the way to the dual narration told from both a male and female voices. Very clear and precise with added affects along the way. We really enjoyed the narrators voices.

    We bopped along as we listened to the end of the first book and I found even as an adult I really enjoyed the light hearted story filled with lots of meaning.

    The pictures were large, colourful and very clear. The story line enjoyable , catchy and showed the meaning behind the words. Feelings and thoughts shown well.

    The songs were very catchy, giving us a variety of information within the song from learning to play games, to catchy tunes.

    The last pages of the book giving us a few nice healthy recipes of Busy Izzy’s.

    Busy Izzy and Newly Truly ** The Big Surprise ** is also a lovely colourful addition to the collection.

    From packing healthy snacks to helping out at the spca she certainly is a buzy 12 year old.

    All her friends love her and are happy to help and follow her along the way keeping buzy and learning and enjoying.

    This book was enjoyed by both ages, 2 and 10 . The attention span of younger ones a little short, better for ages over 5 for sure . But both children loved the puppy and the interactions within the pages and story line.

    Newly Truly will be loved by all kids , he is cute and adorable and loved By Izzy. You will have your kids wanting to adopt a pet puppy of there own.

    Once again in the back of this book there are more healthy recipes as well as some for Newly Truly. A website to find more songs and information and many other platforms that Izzy and her friends can be found out. ** very helpful for the young ones wanting to find out more. **

    Beautifully detailed and well delivered children’s story. Large lush pages, lots of educational information and friendly fun within the pages.

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