Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk


  Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk. Henry Holt & Co., 2017. 9781250112491

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? This is an appealing picture book biography of Maya Lin, who, as a college undergraduate, won the competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1981. I remember the controversy around her youth and inexperience. Lin’s childhood, her design inspirations, and the controversy are treated in a way which makes sense for the intended audience. The realistic digital illustrations are spare and architectural, and, together with the horizontal orientation of the book, reflect the shape of the Memorial itself. An author’s note at the end includes a photograph of Lin, drawings of the tools of an architect, and more biographical information.

Anything you didn’t like about it? This book is the illustrator’s picture book debut. I loved her rendering of people but I thought that many of the interior and exterior spaces lacked the appearance of depth.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This book would serve as a report source for kids in grades K-2.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 25, 2017

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