Laura's Reviews > The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
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Jan 03, 12

bookshelves: younger-readers
Read in February, 2011

Picturebook telling of Philippe Petit’s tight-rope walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center in August 1974.

Uses poetic language and stylized illustrations to draw readers in to the story. Uses illustrations of various sizes, from small details to full-bleed fold-out spreads to convey the grand scale of Petit’s adventure. Although the artistic style did not appeal to me personally, the book is a Caldecott winner and therefore not of insignificant merit. The images definitely help readers of all ages visualize what Petit did and imagine seeing things from his perspective.

Although the images in the book are not scientific renderings, they are sufficiently accurate. Gerstein creates a sense of authenticity by showing the city in various states from the construction of the World Trade Center through its disappearance. They also help the reader see the towers (which many readers may have never seen in person) in a different context- not as office buildings looming in the skyline or as part of a historical image of terror and sadness, but as the magical, delightful playground they were for one day of their history. The story, as it is presented in the book, is compelling for readers of all ages.
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