I Am I.M. Pei

Penguin/Rocky Pond. (Ordinary People, Change the World). Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780525556015.
K-Gr 3–Celebrated Chinese American architect I.M. Pei’s prophetic given name, Ieoh Ming, means “to inscribe brightly” in his native language; his unique perspective would make him one of the most notable designers of his era. Meltzer, telling Pei’s story through a first-person narration, shows how his early life in China with his artist mother and banker father modeled very different perspectives of life. These influences along with an excellent education, distinguished advisors, and determination, defined his long life not only through his architecture but by his philanthropy, mentorship, and patriotism as well. Eliopoulos’s detailed illustrations portray cartoonlike characters set in authentic settings depicting some of the structures Pei designed: the pyramid entrance to the remodeled Louvre in France, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The age-appropriate content is delivered in both narrative text and speech bubbles. Some of Pei’s famous quotes are integrated within these bubbles. The book’s back matter includes additional facts, a time line, sources, and further reading.
VERDICT Part of the “Ordinary People, Change the World” series, this biography addresses diversity, curiosity, artistry, and persistence. It is a good addition to any library.

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