Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Rating: 5 stars

During the first week of Lorelei's first grade, her teacher asked each student to bring in his or her favorite book to share with the class.  That simple little assignment was like a parenting test for me.  I really wanted to intervene, to suggest some of the fantastic titles we've read and loved here.

I wanted to place one of the Little House books in front of her, so she could share with her class that we read them together each night during her Kindergarten year (and so that I could earn a gold star vicariously for my own reading of the books).

I wanted to place Loren Long's Drummer Boy in front of her, a holiday book rich with emotion and lessons, so she could share with her class the creative result of a song turned into a book (and so that I could earn a gold star vicariously for finding good books off the beaten path).

I wanted to place Lane Smith's John, Paul, George, and Ben in front of her, a unique book telling the story of five (Thomas is in there, too) of our founding fathers, so she could share with her class her knowledge of history (and so that I could earn a gold star vicariously for providing educational books to  toddlers).

Thankfully, I passed the parental test. I resisted the urge to intervene and involve my ego in her homework.

She brought in one book from the Rainbow Magic fairy series, a harmless, light chapter book series for young girls that involves a whole lot of sparkles and fairies and stuff.  (Blech.)

But another girl in her class brought in Iggy Peck, Architect!  And Lorelei was so impressed with it she asked me if we could order it from the library.  ($50 says that no one went home and asked their mother if they could check out the fairy series...)

This clever, rhyming book by Andrea Beaty (author of the Ted series...this is SO MUCH better than those) with fantastically quirky illustrations by David Roberts is about a little boy who just cannot contain his passion for building.  His first masterpiece was
and out on the porch built the St Louis arch
from pancakes and coconut pie
when he built a great tower--in only an hour--
with nothing but diapers and glue.
"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 those diapers weren't clean!
There's just the right amount of humor for kids, to keep them laughing and turning the page.  Iggy builds with clay, fruit, pancakes...anything, really.  Until, that is, he gets to second grade, where he meets Miss Lila Greer who doesn't appreciate architecture and tells him to stop.

Until, that is, she takes the class on a field trip to a little island in the park and young Iggy saves the day by rebuilding the footbridge that collapsed as they crossed over the island.  (He starts the suspension bridge with her shoe, and somehow it involves someone's underwear...ha!) Miss Greer jumps from her place as dream-crusher to dream-supporter as she walks to safety.

This is a great book packed with little nuggets of goodness (support your kids' dreams, you parents and teachers! provide creative outlets for them! let them choose their own books, even if silly fairies are involved! oh wait not that one...), and we hope that our library gets Andrea Beaty's newest book, Rosie Revere, Engineer, really soon!

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