Story Time: Iggy Peck, Architect

Since Tuesday has become a sort of celebration of all things inspiring, I thought I'd occasionally feature excerpts from some of my favorite children's books. This one was a gift a lovely and dear friend gave Archer for his birthday and has since become one of our go-to favorites. Some highlights...

Iggy Peck, Architect is available here.


How about you? What are you reading to your kids/what are your kids reading to you? Any and all recommendations welcome!



Loodles | 1:19 PM

Holy cow, that is one of our family's favorites as well. I've been trying to design my boys soon-to-be joint room around architectural themes and am giving this book a prized place. I love, love, love this book. Have you and the kids read any of the Little Pea/Little Hoot/ Little Oink books?

Crystal | 1:21 PM

We love Iggy Peck! Actually, I enjoy this book more than my son.On the rare occasion that I get to pick which book we are going to read this is one that I usually choose. I also LOVE An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton. It's also my favorite baby shower gift.

Mama Bee | 1:24 PM

I am a HUGE children's literature fanatic. These are some of our most recent picks:

There are Monsters Everywhere- Mercer Mayer
Ginger Bear- Mini Grey
Both The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson
Hondo and Fabian (and Fabian Escapes) by Peter McCarthy
My Lucky Day by Keiko Kazska
Otis by Loren Long
and most especially Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen


Awesome! I haven't heard of MOST of these books. Can't wait to check them out! How fantastic!

Keep 'em comin!

Melissa | 1:31 PM

No matter what new and fun books I bring home, my almost 5 year old holds tight to The Complete Adventures of Curious George. Over and over with George gets a job.

The copy we have was actually given to me when I was a child so that always makes it extra special.

hayley | 1:36 PM

This. looks. AWESOME! I don't even have kids, but I do have a thing for architecture and I think must buy this :)

Rebecca | 1:36 PM

Based on your post here, I really think you would like When You Were Small by Sara O'Leary:

Claire | 1:37 PM

Anything by Oliver Jeffers is a must have in any collection! I love kids books...and I don't even have kids yet!

pdxhadey | 1:56 PM

Oh, I haven't read that book before, but it looks great! I'm going to add it to my kids' book list.

One of my favorite's is Rachel Fister's Blister. The cadence of the book is so rhythmic, and the story is great. I think your kids would love it!

Rachel | 2:06 PM

This is one of my favorite children's books!! I used to work for a children's clothing store and we sold that book there. I loved it so much I had to buy a copy. Now I find myself reading it to my belly (I'm due Oct. 24). Another favorite is Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent by Lauren Child.

Meghann | 2:43 PM

I've never heard of this one before but I LOVE the illustrations.
Fancy Nancy is a popular name in our household. I love that her books are a fun way to help children work on their vocabulary in a fun way.
We also love Good Night Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Barb | 3:22 PM

My little two-year-old guy is obsessed with identifying mamas and daddies and babies in everything. So he's really been enjoying Blueberries for Sal, because there's a mama/baby human and mama/baby bear storyline.

h | 4:32 PM

My almost 3 year old loves the moomins, the art is so modern and the pages are die cut in this one - The Book About Moomin, Mymble, and Little My:

My cousin sent it from Finland, it is too cool not to share.

Mari | 4:44 PM

THis is the frist time I've ever commented on your wonderful site. But, I simply had to recommend two books.
The first is called weslandia by Paul Fleischman. It is about a boy who decides to build a self-sufficient civilisation in his backyard in the summer holidays. The illustrations are great and his story is a good one in terms of following your heart, not the crowd.
The second book is a little more obscure. It's called totto-chan. It's a Japanese book by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and it is losely based on her childhood in Japan before WWII. She went to a unusual school in Japan, whose headmaster really cared about his students. It's fantastic and has some great messages in it. Highly recommended.

Sarah @ | 5:00 PM

We've been really into Roxaboxen lately. Like. Five billion times a day into. Oh my goodness, I love reading, but I think my brain fried one or two readings ago.

Heather | 5:13 PM

This book looks sooo cute! I love when kids books appeal to us grown up readers. Do you ever find yourself secretly trying to pick *your* favorite for bedtime reading? This looks great!
I recently did a review of one of my favorite kids books! I love how it mixes history and silliness. That art is amazing too.

Tanya | 5:32 PM

I haven't heard of this book but am off to buy it because it looks fantastic. Thanks for showing snippets so we could get an idea of the story and illustrations - this makes a huge difference when wanting to find out about a book!

Books (well and food, clothing, and shelter too of course) are one of the primary things that I always have and update for my children. They are 5 (Romeo) and almost 3 (Persia) and they each have huge libraries of wonderful books, both fiction and non-fiction. They both absolutely love reading - perhaps because it is something I have done with them since they were in the womb and because I too adore reading, writing, and books of all genres.
My children adore the old Winnie-the-Pooh stories and these are read every night at bedtime. Reading is our biggest and most regular daily activity. My favourite time of the evening I have to say! Now Romeo is 5, he reads to his sister too which is so lovely to see!
I also love reading to them:
Guess How Much I Love You - which I have been reading since during each pregnancy.
I Love You Blue Kangaroo
Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep
Dr Dog - a particular favourite (rather hilarious!).
Mog the cat adventure series.
Old Bear and Little Bear stories.
So many stories to love and read together!
We adore the old classic stories as much as the newer and more modern ones!

joanie | 6:44 PM

Speaking of Iggy Peck....
Becca you HAVE to check out "Need a house? Call Ms Mouse" by George Mendoza
it was in my family for decades and I got one for my kids. A little mouse architect goes around designing habitat related super homes for animals. its' awesome!!! and from the reviews on amazon, many other people loved it in their childhood and some were inspired enough by this book to go into design themselves.
another is "Come Follow Me" by Gyo Fujikawa
it plays to my fairie/elf sensibilites. my kids are a little nervous about the Brian Froud books just yet, do this is a nice intro. We are HUGE HUGE HUGE Froud/Henson fans here (Has Archer seen Labyrinth yet?? watch the "making of" my kids are amazed by the artistry/puppetry)
in the big loft building were they take art, there's a Henson puppet shop, and we always sneak by to check out the workshop and what they're building that day. I think I'm more excited than they are to catch a peek!!!
Also, getting my third Street/Name pic now that our daughter is born, and named (Scarlett:)
Thanks for the reference!!
Continued blessings for your family and twins!!!!!

Pauline | 6:44 PM

That's a cute looking book! I can't wait till my baby (also named Archer, but Archie for short) is past board books, but right now I fear giving him anything pretty because I know it will end up in his mouth. While board book selections do seem a little limited, we enjoy Olivia.

Lisa | 7:20 PM

This looks like a wonderful book! My boys and I are real book lovers, too -- over the years, some of our happiest times of the day have been the hours we've spent sharing good stories together. I regularly review and recommend children's books here, under the "A bookworm's breakfast" label. . I think you'll find lots of suggestions that Archer and Fable (and eventually your two new babes!) will enjoy!

bluejeanamy | 7:59 PM

That book is Harper's FAVORITE favorite faaaaavorite. It was actually how we inspired her to walk: Put it out on a chair and she'd toddle over... Really one of the best books out there!

Lately, she's also enamored with this baby yoga book that shows kids doing poses, next to animals doing poses? It kind of makes no sense, but lord is it cute watching her do a downward dog like...a dog.

Daisy | 9:15 PM

I love buying books as baby gifts for kids libraries. Some of my go-tos are A Day With Wilbur Robinson, The Jolly Postman, James Herriot's Treasury for Children, and Harold & the Purple Crayon.

Margie | 9:19 PM

Ooooo, I love childrens books.

What the ladybird heard - Julia Donaldson


The Ravenous Beast - Niamh Sharkey

Jess | 9:24 PM

My favorite books when I was a little girl: The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem, In the Company of Bears, and Stellaluna. I'm twenty-two and I still have all of my children's books. :-D

Unknown | 9:27 PM

That book look great and there are so many awesome suggestions here! I'm looking forward to adding some to our collection.

My 2.5 year old's favorite of late is The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson with beautiful illustrations by Beth Krommes.

findingmagnolia | 9:33 PM

I'm going to have to put Iggy Peck on our library list immediately. Round here we are huge fans of the Llama Llama books, and two standouts otherwise are Children Make Terrible Pets, by Peter Brown, and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig.

Amy K | 9:36 PM

I discovered Roxaboxen by Alice Mclerran a few weeks ago at the library (it brought nostalgic tears to my eyes) and immediately bought a copy for my daughter. I already added Iggy Peck to the Amazon wish list!

Caitlin | 10:53 PM

both of these books are cute:)

Jude | 12:23 AM

The Graffalo!!

Smelly Peter: the great Pea-eater!!

Esther | 12:32 AM and

Are the LOVELIEST books EVER!!!!!Emily Brown is a Legend in her own lunchtime!

Rosstwinmom | 1:44 AM

You guys are distracting me! Now I want to buy a bushel of books! We are loving a book that is actually mine from when I was a child-Richard Scarry's best Story Book Ever. Just this morning the boys were reading it and ran to tell me, "We found a new plane page!!!!" We also love Jump! by Scott M. Fischer.

randi | 3:44 AM

We're going to have to check out Iggy Peck! My oldest (5) would love it!

We're into How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
and ANYTHING by Robert Munsch (yay Canada!).

Kenneth | 4:03 AM

What a lovely story! My kids loves to read a story from the bible..
they read it again and again..

Christy / Thrifty Vintage Kitten | 5:21 AM

My very favorite book is called, "Best Word Book Ever" by Richard Scarry

Seriously the coolest book I read to my 2-year old.

Sarah | 6:02 AM

I love the artwork in this one:
Auntie Claus, by Elise Primavera

And these are my favorite books to give as gifts:
Little Hoot by Amy Kraus Rosenthal
Little Pea (by Amy, too)

I'm a civil engineer, so I'm always on the lookout for books about engineering, architecture, or environmental stewardship that are actually fun (and don't use words like "stewardship," which, while a good thing, sounds boring to a kid. Hell, it's sounds boring to ME.) "Hoot," and "Flush," by Carl Hiasson are fantastic. Fun stories that bring in the idea of what it means to be creative and be a good environmental citizen. (I swear, I'm a lot more fun than this comment sounds!) These are big kid, chapter books...but I love them.

Anonymous | 6:08 AM

our favorite books are anything by Elsa Beskow. They are old but timeless and beautiful.

katec | 6:26 AM

you forgot your skirt amelia bloomer

Catherine McNeur | 6:31 AM

My current favorite is When Stella was Very Very Small by Marie-Louise Gay. Gorgeous illustrations and really brilliant writing. Given what I know of your taste from this blog, I think you'd love it too (not to mention the kiddos).

Jenny O | 6:58 AM

I am totally ordering this for the library I manage right now. I LOVE the Goreyesque-ness of the illustrations, and the individuality of each child in the classroom scenes.

Also, all you commenters have some awesome book recs, too. Roxaboxen! We are also big fans of Blueberries for Sal in our house - my mom actually strongarmed some other ladies out of the way at the kids' boutique so she could buy the book/matching blueberry dress set for Booboo's birthday.

I think you might like Cinnamon Baby by Nicola Wynstanley, or In front Of My House by Marianne Dubuc. I like to run new library additions by my two-year-old and these were both HUGE hits for both of us.

nicole | 7:15 AM

This is so cute. I love that teacher's style, ha! xo.

Bless with a Boy | 7:40 AM

I have never heard of that book. WOW what fun. To bad my son is 19 and isn't likely to sit down and let me read it to him. DANG!!! I miss doing that with him. But in a few years I hope to have grand kids. But I'm more than willing to wait until college is complete and his career has taken off. Whatever that may be. :-)

Elizabeth | 7:44 AM

First Comes Love : All About The Birds And Bees - And Alligators, Possums, And People, Too

Cleverly written and beautifully illustrated this book is one I bought for my son when he was just a baby because I loved it so. Now he's finally old enough to enjoy it! There's a wealth of fascinating info on animals "in love" and interesting facts in the footnotes of every page

Anonymous | 7:57 AM

Born to read & Wild about books!
both equally awesome.

Robyn | 8:20 AM

As an avid children's book reader (and current indie bookseller), I have to add one of my favorite picture books, Big Rabbit's Bad Mood!

Also, please support your community by shopping local. Search for your local independent bookstore at

renee | 9:31 AM

Psst, by Adam Rex. You will thank me, I promise.

Tracy | 9:59 AM

I like the message in "An Awesome Book" by Dallas Clayton

I guess you could say it's about dreams - it's just fun :)

Susannah | 10:39 AM

My very favorite children's book has always been "The Big Orange Splot" by Daniel Pinkwater. Some others...

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaolo

Stone Soup by Ann McGovern

and of course...

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Anonymous | 10:44 AM

I've got one, The Monster Princess. It's geared towrds girls, duh, but the messgae of the story gets me every. darned. time. It goes something like this, 'The once dark cavern now had a warm glow, feeling right with yourself will do that you know. There's all kinds of special, that's what she found true. Lala's tale is now happy and yours should be too!'
It gets me everytime, but I think the message is so important!

The other Harper's Mother :)

Amy | 10:51 AM

I am obsessed with the earlier works of Oliver Jeffers, in particular How to Catch a Star (2004) and Lost and Found (2005). His drawings are remarkably sparse and saturated, and his stories are sweet, sad and funny. Gems.

Amy | 10:56 AM

Also, the entire Richard Scarry canon is bible in my house. There is so much to see on every page. I am a sucker for his cross-sections!

amanda | 11:04 AM

You much check out Joseph Had a Little Overcoat! Such a beautifully written and illustrated book.

Anna | 11:46 AM

Iggy Peck, Architect looks just perfect! We'll definitely look for it. I've just started a "baby book club" on my blog (Tuesdays too!) - some books are too good not to share - and bad books bug me. I am so looking forward to this series...


Totally agree, Anna. I HATE with a passion The Rainbow Fish... like... Every time I see it in a store I turn it backwards. WORST. MESSAGE. EVER.

These are so awesome, you guys. I feel like I have a lifetime of great new stuff to read, gift, love.

xo, all.

robin | 1:49 PM

That book looks AWESOME, we'll have to get it! We are big book lovers around here. My 3 year old loves cats, so any cat book is on her list. Her current favorite is "Cat Secrets" by Jef Czekaj. My 5 year old really loves "Superdog; the heart of a hero" by Caralyn Buehner right now, but her long time fave is "Only You" by Robin Cruise (I love this one!) and "Piggie Pie" by Margie Palatini...all her books are great! We are also lovers of the "How do dinosaurs..." collection by Jane Yolen. And I love "The skin you live in" by Michael Tyler, "The Gift" by Carol Ann Duffy, "I like Myself" by Karen Beaumont, and my childhood favorite, "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams. Oh, and Jamie Lee Curtis writes some cute children's books, too!

Julie | 6:55 PM

Love Iggy Peck - I think we might have even been the ones to give it to Alexa. One of our latest, off-the-beaten-track faves is this one:
Not available on amazon so notta lotta (heh) people know about it, but I think you'd like it.

Margie | 7:06 PM

What a fun list! I've just reserved a bunch of these from my library! My two year old loves Henry and Mudge books these days, written by Cynthia Rylant. We read them over and over at bedtime. We also love the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant, and I prefer those because I like the illustrations better. My particular favorite is Mr. Putter and Tabby Clear the Decks.

A few others we are reading a lot lately:
Switching on the Moon by Jane Yolen (A wonderful collection of bedtime poetry with fantastic illustrations. Great gift.)

Clown by Quentin Blake (You'll recognize his drawings from Roald Dahl books. This one is all pictures, no words).

Kitchen Dance by Maurie Manning (A vibrant picture book about a sweet family moment dancing in the kitchen after bedtime.)

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (About the Central Park Zoo penguins, Roy and Silo, who are both male penguins and who raise little Tango.)

And so many more! Isn't this great?!

Anonymous | 7:39 PM

My favorite book as a kid was "Earls Too Cool for Me" :) But like any magical rhymey story, it sounds best in my mother's sing song rendition.

One in a Brazilian | 9:42 PM

The Animal Boogie! The art is adorable and it comes with a CD with a song that accompanies the story. My son LOVES it!

Cobies | 2:40 AM

I'm a confirmed lurker - but this was so amazing I had to comment - Thank you!

LV | 11:15 AM

We bought my little son Around the World with Mouk (translated from French) as we are world travelers and wanted to share this in any way possible. He loves the bright pictures and there are so many questions you can ask them about what's going on on each page. The removable stickers also make it interactive (my bet is your kids would love it!):

He also goes to Goodnight Gorilla pretty much each night, and we've been reading it together since he was born and we still love how simple and open it is.

verdemama | 4:30 PM

This post and all its comments are awesome! I've added tons of these suggestions to my wishlist -- thank you!

As for our favorites here at Casa Verdemama -- my oldest is only two, so we have a lot of literary territory to cover still, but he's really enjoying "When I Grow Up" by Weird Al Yankovic and books by illustrator Allison Jay ("I Took the Moon for a Walk" and "Red Green Blue" are current faves). Jay's books are like intricate scavenger hunts filled with little treasures to uncover.

Nicole | 6:58 PM

Right now Haleigh is only 5 months old so I'm reading, outloud, whatever book I'm currently reading, to her. Every so often I (obviously) read her a kid book. What's not to love about all the colors, swirls, and fuzzy stuff on the pages but for right now she doesn't mind hearing what Janet Evanovich's new book is about ;-)

Mollie | 7:02 PM

I second "The Big Orange Splot" by Daniel Pinkwater. AWESOME book! Loved it when I was a kid and it's still one of my favorites. I teach Kindergarten and here are my three go-to books:
19 Girls and Me by: Darcy Pattison
Lost My Kisses by: Trudie Trewin
A Giraffe and a Half by: Shel Silverstein

p.s. Totally ordering Iggy Peck now... I think my kids will love it!

Sue | 11:44 AM

Our three year old son is all about Press Here by Herve Tullet these days! It's a fun read for all of us

oh, jenny mae | 8:27 AM

the flim-flam fairies by alan katz is hilarious. lots of gross humor in it for those who like it.

BonJoey | 1:18 AM

I have one great one for Archer: Rosie and the Rustlers by Roy Gerrard. It's fabulous, and written in the same intelligent rhyming style of of "Iggy Peck". My mom bought it for my little brother back in 1990 or '91 and it was one of his favorites, and I had completely forgotten about this book until recently we ran out of new library books to read and I went and searched through my old books for something new to read to Vaughn. He immediately loved it and I read it 3 or 4 times to him in the next day or so. And he usually wants to hear a story just once! So yes, it cute and fun and smart and silly and I recommend it.

h | 9:45 PM

I got "Dr. Dog" from the library today based on a comment here and found it to be shocking in a bad way. On the flip side, "What the ladybird heard" was adorable and fun to read aloud so I will keep reserving books from this post in the hope of finding some gems. Thanks, everyone!

JuniorMom | 7:21 AM

The book is uniquely artistic. The graphic designer in me appreciates the illustrations and typography every time I read it. The rhyming story is a whimsical tale of Iggy, who from a young age, like to build things. It's a fun book to read (and reread, and reread, and reread...) with the lesson being to follow your passions. (personal note-If we all did that, we might even end up with "jobs" we love).