Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2021 The two latest additions to the expansive Ordinary People Change the World series (2 new titles) maintain the high standards previously set, delivering accessible, informative biographies to early readers. I Am I. M. Pei tells of the renowned Chinese American architect, here presented as a “chibified” version of his grown self, always dressed in a three-piece suit as he tells his story in the first person. Meltzer begins with Pei’s childhood in China, tying the cultural lessons he learned growing up into the astounding work he would eventually go on to produce. Eliopoulous’ colorful cartoons alternate between full-bleed, spot, and paneled illustrations, with text set in paragraphs, captions, as well as word bubbles for dialogue (drawn from the subjects’ actual words when possible). Combined with the author’s knack for balancing scene and summary, information and art, dialogue and text, the result is a dynamic, beautifully paced presentation that is sure to draw any young reader in. Back matter includes additional facts, presented through word bubbles, along with a time line, sources, and further reading. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/22/2022 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.—Lynne Stover - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.