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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

by Mordicai  Gerstein

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2003
40 pages
ISBN: 0761317910

Ages 5-10

In 1974, soon after the World Trade Center was completed, a street performer named Philippe Petit startled New Yorkers by walking, running, dancing, and even lying down on a tightrope he had managed to put up between the two towers from their roofs. Mordicai Gerstein tells this stunning true story with lyrical language and breathtaking illustrations. Shifting visual perspectives throughout the book give viewers a dizzying sense of both the height of the towers and the distance between them, while two fold-out pages dramatically extend this sense at the story's climax. The pen-and-ink lines perfectly convey a feeling of walking on air, while the oil paintings that comprise the backdrop create a sense of time and place, from the dark blue, green, and purple hues of the New York City skyline at night to the light grays, blues, and whites of the daytime sky. Every page is ingeniously composed to help tell this unusual story, and the ending is graceful both visually and verbally. Winner, CCBC Caldecott Award Discussion CCBC categories: Historical People, Places, and Events; Picture Books for School-Aged Children; Biography and Autobiography.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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