I loved this book as much as my children did. I love it when an author can get you engrossed in his writing and you learn an amazing true story along the way.
An amazing true story and fabulous illustrations.
I was excited to read this book with my daughter because I enjoyed the James Marsh documentary “Man on Wire” so much. Obviously, because this is a book for children, it doesn’t focus on Philippe Petit’s more idiosyncratic personality traits and justifiable celebrates his talent, artistic vision and his dream of walking across the expanse between the two towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope.
The art in this book makes great use of clear, clean colour and an expressive impressionistic style. The fold-out pages are amazing – they are convincingly vertiginous. The description of how Petit and his team negotiate their way to the top of the World Trade Center might lose some younger readers but the skill and the spectacle of their accomplishment will make an impression.
I do have one warning about the book. It states very clearly at the end that “The towers are no longer there.” I respect Mordicai Gerstein for addressing this directly and his doing so shouldn’t discourage anyone from sharing this book with their children. Just either be prepared to skip that sentence or be ready to explain the events of 9/11 to your children.
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