Busy Izzy is an exciting new children's -edutainment' series which encourages friendliness, co-operation, generosity and a healthy lifestyle through the main character, Busy Izzy.
Busy Izzy and Friends, created and written by renowned celebrity vocal coach Roxanne Kiely and illustrated by Jeesoo Kim, is the first storybook in a ten part series about the adventures of Busy Izzy, a 12 year old girl and her diverse group of friends. The intelligent and creative world of Busy Izzy not only contains imaginative stories, but also features healthy recipes, catchy sing-a-long songs and music videos. This unique book and audio CD contains five energetic songs, written by Roxanne and Stephen Kiely, for 2-8 year old children. Busy Izzy and Friends is endorsed by the World Literacy Foundation and is praised by Bec Hewitt and her family.
Busy Izzy and Newly Truly – The Big Surprise
Author: Roxanne Kiely
Illustrator: Jeesoo Kim
Question: What inspired the Busy Izzy series?
Roxanne Kiely: I have been writing little poems and songs since I was 7 years old. I was raised on a dairy farm, I milked cows and worked on the farm with my family and growing our own food. I loved the organic way of life.
My family is very musical and I was encouraged from a young age to sing and write songs, even at school.
When Busy Izzy introduced herself to me three years ago, I was very happy to meet her. I have written 10 "Busy Izzy" books and accompanying each book are songs co-written with my husband Stephen Kiely.
Busy Izzy has a little store called Nix & Nax and she has an organic veggie patch out the back, dandelions and honey-bees. Her little store is full of educational and fun things.
As teacher, especially of young students, I have noticed that the TV shows for the younger children these days, can be quite aggressive and negative at times.
Busy Izzy is always "helpful, honest and friendly and very complementary" reinforcing positive, strong values.
Question: Can you talk us through the phrase 'edutainment'?
Roxanne Kiely: "Edutainment" is a lovely blend of Education and Entertainment. Recently the Kinder - Year 2 children from Amity College worked on a character profile of Busy Izzy and the pictures and descriptions were amazing. They talked about how kind, helpful and friendly Busy Izzy is. The rhythm and rhyme component of the stories are very well liked by parents, teachers and children at all the schools we have visited.
Nazile Keskin, Head Teacher of Amity College said 'Busy Izzy & Friends is a great read! The book is full of phonological fun and clever word play.
We studied the Busy Izzy books over two weeks in our literature unit and the students enjoyed getting to know Busy Izzy and her friends through rhythm and rhyme."
Busy Izzy is a 10 book series and includes; safety advice, healthy recipes, singalong songs and video clips. It ncompasses friendship and harmony, including lessons on social skills.
Question: What's it like working with Jeesoo Kim?
Roxanne Kiely: Jeesoo is lovely to work with and is incredibly talented. She has a great understanding of how to interpret and create exactly what we envisioned in the character profiles and surroundings.
Question: What's next for Busy Izzy and her friends?
Roxanne Kiely: Busy Izzy is certainly living up to her name...there is lots on the horizon for her. We are in discussions with animators in England for a potential "Busy Izzy and Friends" TV show. In addition to this, we will be releasing book three "Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess" later in the year. Book two "Busy Izzy and Newly Truly - The Big Surprise!" is out in May.
We are further developing our already exciting website which will include more games on www.busyizzy.com, along with an app for IOS and android, available via appbooks.
Interview by Brooke Hunter