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Posted March 10, 2012
A fascinating story and a beautiful homage to the Twin Towers
Philippe Petit's story is intriguing - who would have walked on a tightrope between the Twin Towers? Mordicai Gerstein not only tells Philippe's story but also gives a wonderful tribute to the World Trade Center. I believe it definitely deserved to win the Caldecott Medal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2006
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers Review
CALDECOTT: The Man Who Walked Between The Towers, book made me sick to my stomach. I am very afraid of heights and the thought of someone being up that high walking on a cable I could not stand. The book made me feel like I was there, that I was up on the cable with the man. I could feel the wind blowing and the cable bouncing. It is a good book for children. It was entertaining and exciting, but the thoughts of being up that high I did not like. Mordicai Gerstein has a snapshot of himself at the age of four. He was holding brushes and standing in front of an easel. It seems his parents wanted an artist. He never thought he would be anything else. He never dreamed he¿d be an author. Writing stories and creating characters that spoke and had lives seemed real was, to him, an amazing and mysterious ability. He wanted to be a painter. When he finished art school he moved from Los Angeles, where he was born, to New York City. To support his family, he designed and directed animated television commercials. He met Elizabeth Levy in 1970 and that changed everything. She was a young writer who had written a mystery for children, and she invited him to illustrate it. The story was called, Something Queer is Going On. It became a series of books, and more then 30 years later, they are still doing it. He loved the picture book medium. Encouraged by Liz Levy and other editors, he began trying to write his own stories. He loves making books. Each ones seems to him be essentially different from the others, and each is surprise to him. Along with writing and illustrating books for children, Mordicai Gerstein is a painter, sculptor, and prize-winning designer and director of animated films. Born in Los Angeles, Gerstein attended the Chouinard Institute of Art before moving to New York City where he lived and worked for twenty-five years making animated films for television. In 1971, Mordicai collaborated with author Elizabeth Levy to create the 'Something Queer is Going On' series of mystery books for Delacorte Press. Gerstein began writing and illustrating his own books in 1980. His books are wide-ranging in subject, style, and the age groups addressed, from contemporary fantasy and Biblical retellings, to biography and absurd alphabets, for preschoolers, high schoolers, and even adults. Mordicai Gerstein lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Yard Harris, who is also an illustrator, and their daughter, Risa. The book, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, is about a man that performs tricks. He juggles, rides a unicycle, and walked and danced on a rope tied between two trees. One day he decided he wanted to walk between the two twin towers in New York. The towers were still under construction and not yet finished. Of course, the police and the owner of the building would not allow it. So, he and some friends snuck up there one night. They set things up, so when morning came he would be able to walk across the cable. Morning came and they man began out on the cable. He gathered a crowd and began doing tricks. Eventually, the police came and was told he was going to be arrested. He was sentenced to perform for children by the judge. ¿At midnight, on the other tower¿s roof, two more friends tied a thin, strong line to an arrow and shot it across to Philippe, one hundred and forty feet away¿. This is the part of the story where they are setting things up so, the next morning the man can walk and dance between the two towers. ¿Officers rushed to the roofs of the towers. You¿re under arrest! they shouted through bullhorns¿. This is the part of the story where the man has gathered a crowd and has begun doing his tricks, when officers notice him. Then decide they are going to arrest him. Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between The Towers. Brookfield: Roaring Brook Press, 2003. Grade Level: 3rdWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2005
Follow Your Dreams
I didn't like the stark drawings throughout the book. I know he followed his dream but he did do it illegally. As a schoolteacher I am fighting daily to make the point that one should follow the rules. Today children don't grasp consequences. If the author would have made a clearer point that he was wrong and that he had to be punished, I would have been happier. I did enjoy parts of the story, especially when he laid on the wire. Wow, he was brave to do that and perform for an hour with the winds buffing him relentlessly. I admire the perfomer but not the law breaker.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2010
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