Best of Iggy
by Barrows, Annie; Ricks, Sam (ILT)

A boy with a penchant for mischief tries to understand why people make such a fuss over his seemingly harmless misdemeanors, before what he originally thought to be a great idea turns out in ways that make him truly sorry for the first time. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Annie Barrows did none of the things in this book. As a kid, Annie Barrows was good and sweet and well-behaved. All the time, she was good. At least, no one ever caught her doing anything bad, which is the same as being good. She was so good that birds landed on her fingertips and sang. She was so good that people gave her candy for no reason. She was so good that her teachers cried when she went to the next grade.
She got worse when she grew up.

Sam Ricks is the illustrator of the Geisel Award-winner Don't Throw it to Mo! and the Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face books. He lives with his family in Utah. Twitter @Samuelricks / Website

*Starred Review* Meet Iggy, a mostly good fourth-grader who frequently gets in trouble. As the story opens, he's confined to his bedroom because his parents have (from his point of view) misunderstood the extenuating circumstances that led him to threaten another boy and follow him up the ladder to the shed roof, from which the other boy, "screaming, 'Hellllllp,'" leapt onto the trampoline below. The book's narrator, who has nearly as large and colorful a presence here as Iggy, frames the story around people's regrets for their actions. Using three examples involving Iggy, she differentiates between the things he wishes he hadn't just gotten caught doing, things he wishes he hadn't done quite so much, and things he really, really wishes he hadn't done at all. Desk racing, which falls into the latter category, ended with Iggy injuring his favorite teacher, crying, and feeling bad whenever he remembered the incident. Writing with a droll sense of humor, Barrows ensures that kids will enjoy Iggy's antics and perhaps even reflect a bit. Ricks' expressive, zany, black-and-white illustrations capture chaos and amplify the fun. The first of a series, this slender chapter book is inviting to pick up, hard to put down, and near-impossible to read without laughing out loud. Grades 2-5. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

The portrait of a boy as a young rascal: Iggy doesn't really mean to be "bad," does he? A narrator in an amusing direct address and somewhat adult voice serves as both apologist and somewhat bemused observer of three incidents recounted in 20 very short chapters. Iggy Frangi is 9 and in fourth grade. He likes his teacher and tolerates his family—mother, father, sisters Maribel (older) and Molly (younger). Like many people his age, Iggy doesn't realize that something is wrong with what he is doing until either he is in the middle of doing it (and is reprimanded) or until it's too late. Ricks' cartoon illustrations portray Iggy and his family as white-presenting and his lively friends as slim boys with dark skin of various shades. In the first story Iggy defends his own honor and dignity with a strategy involving a skateboard, ladder, and trampoline in a way that only just avoids complete disaster. In the second, Iggy's flair for going big gets slightly out of hand when he "los[es] his mind" in an incident involving shaving cream and lipstick. The third stor y involves his teacher and a minor injury and is an incident Iggy regrets "even years later." Authorial asides combine with amusing cartoons (the universal strikethrough symbol is enlivened by repetitions of "nope" forming the outer circle) to enlist readers as co-conspirators. Funny, silly, and fairly empathetic—and perhaps even consoling to young, impulsive people who hope to be better (someday). (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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