A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Philippe Petit's awe-inspiring tightrope adventure a quarter of a mile in the air was extremely dangerous. Gerstein's illustrations -- which won him the 2004 Caldecott medal -- are so successful at giving the reader a sense of perspective from the incredible height of the twin towers that some readers may experience a feeling of vertigo from looking at them. The final painting is of of the imagined imprint of the towers, which, since the terrorist attack of 9/11, 2001, exist only in memory.
Is It Any Good?
While the text is strong and appealing, the poetry is in the illustrations, so clear, glorious, and powerful that this could almost be a wordless book. Rendered in oil and ink, Mordecai Gerstein's use of perspective and panorama is remarkable. His stunning illustrations won him the 2004 Caldecott Medal.While unsettling in many ways, the story and images in this impressive book pay homage to a place that looms large in our national psyche. Created by a talented and experienced author/artist of more than two dozen books for children, it is a book that will be remembered by readers for many years.
Like the World Trade Center towers -- the tallest buildings in New York City, and the site of the worst act of aggression on American soil -- this is a story of extremes. The events involve an act of the utmost danger and foolhardiness, yet one's relief at the aerialist's success is tremendous as well.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.