Izzy Gizmo

posted in: Pip Jones, Sara Ogilvie | 1

Izzy Gizmo written by Pip Jones and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
The incredible inventions of Izzy Gizmo are a wonder to behold, welding imagination and exuberance together with all sorts of recycled machine parts and a whole lot of creativity. There’s only one glitch: Izzy’s contraptions, although brilliantly conceived, don’t always quite work out in practice.

Despite setbacks and glitches, Izzy is determined to invent new wings for an injured bird she discovers. But will equal parts of kindness, encouragement and perseverance make a recipe for success? Perhaps a bit of corvid cleverness is the missing ingredient?

Find out just how Izzy faces down her frustration (and discovers that even brilliant inventors have to clear up the mess they leave behind!) in this triumphant tale of imagination unleashed.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Reine of Rhyme, Pip “Squishy McFluff” Jones (@PipsJones), is the poet behind Izzy Gizmo‘s gloriously melodious text, full of natural and original rhymes, lighting up each lilting line. The text’s sing-song bounce further brightens the verve exuded by Sara Ogilvie‘s funny and gloriously detailed illustrations. Warm sunshine tones, Izzy’s uncannily well caught facial expressions and the panoply of riotously playful inventions ensure every page is packed with a great deal to delight in.

Izzy’s can-do, yet realistic take on life and managing the frustrations that come with trying to solve problems around you are both relatable and inspiring. I’d like to take her to meet Rosie Revere; with the two of them working on solutions I’m sure the world would very quickly be a better place.

Inspired by Izzy’s inventions we made ourselves a flappable Fixer – the name she gives to her new found friend, the injured crow.

First we prepared some feathers; blobs of poster paint were swirled around using combs (to imitate the pattern on feathers). When dry, we cut out feather shapes and kept them for a bit later…

Next we used this template we made to cut out two silhouettes (fold an A4 piece of card in half to get two mirror images). We then cut a slit in each silhouette (guide lines are on the templates) before…

…slotting the two silhouettes together and taping them in place (I suggest you use masking tape as this is easy to glue over). We taped a beak into position, and then covered our Fixer with feathers and a few salvaged machine parts (you can download some to print and cut out here). Fixer soon began to fly…

Whilst making our Fixer we listened to:

  • Inventor’s Bounce by Kid Matt, from the album Brain Beats 2. This is a rap about famous inventors. Maybe you and the kids can add a new verse featuring Izzy Gizmo?
  • Lots of OK GO songs, watching their videos which often feature amazing inventions. This is probably our favourite:
  • We also started learning some of the songs listed on the Inventors of Tomorrow website. All the lyrics (and links to the music) are included.

  • Other activities which would go well alongside reading Izzy Gizmo include:

  • Preparing an Inventions Box (inspired by Pink and Green Mama) and seeing what inventions your family can create. More suggestions on what to include in an inventions box can be found here and here
  • Upcycling an old bedside table into an inventor’s workbench (it might make that tidying up at the end of the day a little bit easier…?!)
  • Creating a flapping bird along the lines of a jumping jack toy. That Artist Woman shows us how, and provide an easy template to help us.

  • Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of Izzy Gizmo by the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster.

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