Izzy Gizmo is a brilliant inventor. She’s constantly using the materials around her to construct complex gadgets. Sometimes they don’t work perfectly and she gets upset, but her grandfather always encourages her to keep making her work better. When Izzy finds an injured crow, she’s determined to invent a machine that will help him fly again, but it will be her greatest challenge yet.
Izzy is a gorgeously realized character. Her passion and her energy leap off the page, and Ogilvie’s expressive illustrations perfectly capture both her joyful triumphs and her tantrums. Not only does Izzy initially fail to help the crow, but she grows increasingly frustrated with her lack of progress, which makes her decision to keep trying all the more impressive and inspirational.
The book is full of bright, beautifully blended colours, and the autumn leaves on the trees and the blues and purples in the crow’s plumage are particular highlights. Children will be delighted by the detail of Izzy’s inventions, which range from an elongated straw, to a noodle feeding machine, to a scuba diving helmet. It’s fascinating to watch her work through the problem of building new wings for the crow, adjusting her design after each setback. Izzy seems happy to work alone, but the bond she forms with the crow shows how unexpected friendships can often emerge when we’re pursuing our passions.