Iggy Peck, Architect By Andrea Beaty Illustrations by David Roberts Abrams Books for Young Readers: 32 pp., color illustrations, for ages 4 to 8, $15.95 Young Ignatius Peck is brilliant but also, to put it charitably, a handful. Beginning at age 2, he's been constructing things of whatever was at hand, including a Pisa tower from (used) diapers. His creativity knows no geographical bounds: a sphinx in his backyard; a castle from sticks of chalk and a model St. Louis Arch "from pancakes and coconut pie." His second-grade teacher, Ms. Greer, is unimpressed by Iggy's work, believing that architecture has no place in her curriculum. (Poor thing, she was traumatized by being trapped in an elevator with a French circus troupe.) She changes her tune on the day a bridge collapses, and Iggy saves her. Some of Beaty's rhymes are a bit strained, and readers who don't like silliness will need to get over themselves. But it's a good way to make kids think about the way the world's buildings are made.
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