We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
The World Is Not A Rectangle: A Portrait Of Architect Zaha Hadid
Written and Illustrated by Jeanette Winter
Published by Beach Lane Books (2017)
ISBN: 148144669X (ISBN13: 9781481446693) Literary Award: NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book (2018)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Zaha, who was born in Baghdad Iraq, had always looked at the world in an unfettered way. Where others saw boundaries, she saw flowing rivers; where others saw corners, she saw cascading sand dunes.
Told in traditional Jeanette Winter style: concise and direct, the reader still captures the sense that Zaha has always been an outsider for most of her life, even as a child. It is this capacity for reinvention (shout out to our current theme) or rather, looking at the familiar with strange eyes, that allowed her to come up with the most ingenious designs.
I love the image above because once again it shows how women’s vision had always been casually dismissed, actively thwarted, or simply ignored by virtue of their gender (see Mary Blair’s picturebook biography reviewed two weeks ago). But true to her name, Zaha with the iron will, persisted.
It is this capacity to even imagine the impossible that made Zaha create the most wondrous designs imaginable – redefining the field of architecture altogether. This is a fascinating picturebook biography that would make the reader marvel at Winter’s capacity to condense overwhelming information to something that is easily accessible to younger readers, but does not necessarily simplify the complex experience of what it’s like to be a woman in a largely man’s universe.
#WomenReadWomen2019: United States of America