Reader Recommendation of the Week: Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

by Tom B.

Iggy Peck, Architect

Iggy Peck, Architect is next on our reading list

One of the core reasons for this blog existing is that, selfishly, I really want to know what other people’s kids are reading, and I really, really want recommendations for great kids’ books that haven’t crossed our path yet. We got some great submissions last week – which was very cool, since the blog has only existed for a week, so thanks for the charity, dear readers – but one stood out for me as an early favorite. Based on a recommendation from my lovely friend Megan McKnight, the next book we’re hunting for is Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts.

(Or maybe we’re just going borrow it from Megan or… ooh, our local library has it… oh, OK, we’re totally getting this book now.)

According to the description of the book:

Iggy has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they’re sometimes surprised by his materials. But hey! What’s wrong with a tower built of diapers? (Even dirty ones!)

Dear Ig has it made until second grade. That’s when he meets his match. His teacher, Miss Lila Greer, frowns upon architecture. Banned from building in school, second grade becomes a bore until one day a fateful field trip lets Iggy Peck show the world his true talents!

It was named one of Time Magazine’s Top Children’s Books of 2007 and won a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award. And, more importantly, it looks very cool. I LOVE the graphic paper backgrounds to Iggy’s illustrations. And, coincidentally, I recently had a long conversation with my daughter trying to explain what an architect does. We have lots of books about the actual construction process – “Biff Builds a House” and so on – but we haven’t encountered many that actually get into the planning/artistic inspiration aspects of what architects do.

On the author’s website, you can find some great sample pages and other resources if you’re interested.

So, thanks Megan for the suggestion! If anyone else has suggestions for what we should try to read next, just email me and pass it on.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan October 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thanks Tom! Iggy Peck is waiting to be loaned out to your family! Clever illustrations, superb rhyming, and a little boy with a vocation other than a builder-superhero-police officer. Both the illustrations and writing have humor nuanced enough to reach kids and adults. This book was recommended to us by Kelly from Shine in downtown Royal Oak. Shine stocks only 20 titles at one time, but Kelly has a passion for children’s books and has carefully selected each.

I’ve come to two realizations reading your blog: First, we’re missing out on some really good books! Second, we have failed to make sure our boys are reading stories with female protagonists. Seriously — I think all we’ve got is a Dora story and subscription to Babybug that has a ongoing story about a girl named Kim. Oh, and a few Robert Munch books .. .But, at least this offers us an opportunity to get some books that will solve both of these problems.

Thanks for sharing your passion and knowledge!


Tom B. October 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm

It looks so good, Megan. I’ve checked and it’s available at the Ferndale library now, so we’re definitely picking it up this week.

And the female protagonist thing… it’s hard. As the parent of a daughter, I am way, way oversensitive about the issue and have spent a ton of time specifically looking for books with strong, non-damsel-in-distress female leads. However, on the flip side, it never occurs to me to make sure that Charley is reading books with good male protagonists either….it’s hard to keep that stuff in mind. I mean, I think she ends up reading books with good male heroes – not because I’m awesome at picking titles, but mostly just because there are a lot more titles with strong boys than girls… sadly.

If you’re looking for books with good, fun, strong female characters that a boy might dig, there’s an author named Cornelia Funke who has a very cool series of picture books – The Wildest Brother, Princess Pigsty, and The Princess Knight – that are GREAT and have wonderful female leads. (And I know they have all of them at the RO Library.) Thanks for reading!


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