I’ve mentioned before that I love picture books with clever vocabulary or great rhyme. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts has both. Ignacious Peck was born with a love of buildings (both creating and studying them). All goes well for Iggy until the second grade, when he ends up in a classroom with a teacher who despises architecture. When a class field trip is derailed and the class is stranded, however, Iggy gets to use his particular talents to save the day. To show off the story’s delightful rhythm, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the story where Iggy has assembled a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa out of diapers:
“‘Good gracious, Ignacious,’ his mother exclaimed. ‘That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!’ But her smile faded fast as a light wind blew past and she realized the diapers weren’t clean.”
In addition to the story itself, which is both charming and well-phrased, the illustrations are fantastic. The style reminds me of what I might expect to see if Frank Lloyd Wright illustrated children’s books in the 1950s. That might be the most outlandish analogy I’ve come up with to date, but it works here.
If you enjoy Iggy Peck, Architect (and I think you will), there is a second from the same author/illustrator duo. Rosie Rever, Engineer tells the story of one of Iggy’s classmates who, if the title hadn’t made that obvious yet, is an aspiring engineer. Both books are clever and heartfelt. As an added plus, I really enjoy having books around the house about hardworking children who work through a challenge. (The shoelace suspension bridge and hotdog dispensers are just a bonus.)
I would recommend this to: families with curious children. (Aren’t they all?)