Zaha Hadid

ISBN 9781786037459.
PreS-Gr 2–Simple and straightforward text takes us through Shelley’s life and early career. Sánchez Vegara uses carefully curated biographical moments to establish the factors that led to Shelley discovering her writing career. A brief time line with photographs provides further context. Bryksenkova’s illustrations depicting Shelley’s family and career progression in rich jewel-tones are wonderfully playful, and the positioning of the elongated limbs and exaggerated facial features of the key players pairs well with the text and contributes to the tone of each spread. Context is also key in Sánchez Vegara’s biography of Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid’s interest in design manifested at a young age, both in her schoolwork, where she was drawn to math and art, and in the decorative arts she had immediate control over, beginning with her clothing and bedroom. Truly a global citizen, Hadid grew up in a well-traveled family and spent time in Baghdad and Switzerland, before continuing her graduate studies in London. Her curved building designs gained notoriety as they challenged and changed the limitations of traditional architectural engineering; Hadid is remembered as a trailblazer for both women and Muslims in architecture. A brief time line with photographs includes more specific details about her life. Amar’s illustrations, with their bold curved lines, reflect Hadid’s designs.
VERDICT These picture book biographies make welcome additions to this series for elementary readers. Both titles are recommended for elementary nonfiction collections.

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