Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, 2020.
The Questioneers (Ada Twist, Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere and Sofia Valdez) are perhaps best known for their successful picture book series. More recently, the characters have begun having adventures in their own illustrated chapter books.
In Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion, Ada’s Aunt Bernice inherits a deserted mansion which is reputed to be haunted. The house used to belong to the town’s ice-cream mogul Herbert Sherbert and is filled with countless rooms from all his favourite architectural periods; exploring the mansion is heaven for Iggy! Unfortunately, the house is in a state of disrepair and Aunt Bernice doesn’t have the money to fix it. In order to keep the mansion, she’s relying on being able to sell some of the house’s priceless antiques but these have gone missing! A property developer has her eye on the site and has made Aunt Bernice an offer. She plans to demolish the mansion so she can build identical box-shaped apartments instead. Can Iggy and his friends solve the mystery and find the treasure in time to save the mansion?
Just like Iggy, I was excited by the architecture in the mansion. My two favourite architectural periods are Art Nouveau and Art Deco and much of the mansion is decorated in this style. The descriptions and the illustrations are great and will really bring this period alive for young children.
I also like the style of the book: the graph paper background to the illustrations, the green, brown and cream colour palette, and the pages that are drawn to look like they’re from Iggy’s notebook. I’m a huge fan of David Roberts and love his distinctive illustrative style. The characters are quirky and full of personality and there’s lots of humour in the illustrations too.
The book has loads of fabulous STEM content and the four children – with their enquiring minds and impressive knowledge – make great role models. I loved Iggy’s enthusiasm for architecture:
Architecture is important! It lets us show who we are. It lets us show where we’ve been and let’s us decide where we want to go! Architecture is one way we show the world what’s important to us! (Page 88.)
I love how diverse the characters are too and that there’s positive representation of girls acing it in science and engineering.
I really enjoyed the extras at the end of the book as well: further information about the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, a recipe for ice-cream and an explanation of the science behind it, and a profile of journalist and campaigner Ida B Wells (who features in the book).
Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion is a fun and engaging early chapter book – perfect for newly confident young readers.
Suitable for children aged 6+
Thank you to Abrams and Chronicle for sending me this book to review. I reviewed this book as part of the Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion blog tour where I shared a fun drawing activity for young designers. Click here to try it.