Izzy and Frank


On the island, Izzy and Frank are constant friends, from hide-and-seek to treasure hunting, hunting crusty crabs or poking sparkly, spiky starfish. However, what happens when it’s time to live somewhere else?

The city seems grey to Izzy. What’s more the ‘streets [are] narrow and busy’, while ‘traffic [hums] late into the night’. There are ‘no views of the sea’. Furthermore there is no Frank.

How can Izzy learn how to be without Frank, in this strange environment of shoes and lines and games that are so different? Is it possible that Frank might find Izzy? Thereafter, might he be ‘waiting patiently’ that Izzy and he can explore her new home and play ‘buried treasure’  and eat chips together. What’s more, could other, new, friends join them?

Sophie Beer offers Hawaiian rich scenes, it seems through a limited colour palette of corals and teals. Thereafter, there is such movement and flow to her parents, almost in wave patterns. Then again, Katrina Lehman’s story is so empathetic and encouraging, just such a lovely picture book to share and ‘know;. Bookwagon recommends Izzy and Frank to our readers.

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Izzy and Frank

Written by Katrina Lehman, illustrated by Sophie Beer

(Scribble Books)– hardback

Izzy and Frank love their island, from the wind that whistles to the waves that lap. It seems that Frank waits for Izzy patiently every morning, before ‘they set offf around their island with buckets and sandwiches’. Thereafter, they spend their days hunting for treasure, playing ‘hide-and-seek’ or even swimming ‘with seals‘ on ‘blue-sky-sunny days’.
Therefore, it is a shock when everything changes and the island is no longer Izzy’s home. What if she was to move to the city, where everything seems different and she’s ‘told to ‘Wear shoes’ and ‘Sit still’ and Be quiet, please’? What’s more, everything is grey, and there is no sign of Frank.
Could his return signal the difference for this child? Might it mean they might resurrect their games and help Izzy build her confidence and then community, in the city?
Katrina Lehman has written such a thoughtful, empathetic story that recognises the difficulties felt in change, whatever our ages. We feel the absence of somewhere so perfect, for Izzy, and then the absence of her favourite friend. These themes are considered in picture books such as Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away and The Longest Strongest Thread. What’s more, Sophie Beer’s beautiful, journeying shapes through her pictures of limited palette, are encouraging, accessible and charming. Izzy and Frank is a beautiful picture book to share and treasure.


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