The World is Not a Rectangle:  A Portrait of Zaha Zahdid by Jeanette Winter

It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that we recommend Jeanette Winter’s latest contribution to the world of non-fiction picture books.  We have loved her previous biographies like The Librarian of Basra, My Name is Georgia, and Nasreen’s Secret School, to name a few favorites.  Winter chooses such fascinating people to research and write about, and brings to her readers important stories of people from around the world.  Zaha Zahdid may be my all-time favorite Winter picture book (so far, at least). Zahdid’s vision of architecture and designs is creative, unconventional, and courageous.  Growing up in Iraq, she was always fascinated by the patterns in nature–both the breath-taking landscapes and heart-breaking ruins that surrounded her.  Studying architecture in London gave her the foundation she need to make her visions a reality.  She has created buildings around the world based on the shapes and patterns of nature.   She designed museums, opera houses–even a ski jump!  Her conviction in her work and her dedication to her vision prevailed despite discrimination as a woman, as well as against her Muslim faith.  The illustrations are bold and clear and work perfectly with the simple and elegant text.  You can’t ask for a better role model–or book–to share with kids.


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