The twin towers of the World Trade Center in the city of New York are probably best known for the tragic events that occurred on September 11th 2001. But long before the events of September 11th, a frenchman was making the towers famous for an entirely different reason.
Philippe Petit loved to perform. He rode unicycles, he juggled and he walked on wires. Walking, dancing and performing on wires tied between two trees was his favourite thing to do. So when he saw two towers in New York with a space in between a plan began to form in his mind. And if he could put his plan into action, he would give the world the performance of his life…
This is a wonderful picture book story based on fact that celebrates the remarkable 1974 feat of high-wire walker Philippe Petit. Whilst the twin towers of the World Trade Center may not remain, the incredible feat of this inspirational, risk-taking and courageous frenchman will live long in the memory. Philippe Petit is the most wonderful of people. He sees things that others do not and when he looked up at the two buildings that reached a quarter of a mile above the ground, one thing more than anything stood out to him…the space in between.
This has all the feel of a modern day heist. Sneaking into buildings in disguises, carting equipment up stairs and lifts, fastening cables all under the cover of darkness. You would be forgiven for thinking that there was going to be a theft at the end of it all. But as the sun rises, there is no theft, there is a glorious performance one thousand three hundred and forty feet feet above the ground. One man dancing on a wire and the people on the streets below struggling to believe what they are seeing. It is a thing of absolute beauty. I must point out that whilst Petit was charged for some of the many crimes he committed in carrying out his act, he was only sentenced to carry out a performance in the city park for the children of the city - a punishment that seemed befitting of the crime.
The artwork is awe-inspiring. The views over the city of New York from way up high give a real sense of perspective and how far above the city the action takes place. The double page spreads and the two fold-out pages are stunning - they feel dramatic and also peaceful. They perfectly capture a man at complete ease with himself, in his happy place, peaceful and calm.
Readers of all ages will be enthralled and left gasping for breath by this incredible true story. A story of a man with an impossible dream whose determination and desire saw him create the most beautiful of moments that will never be repeated.
Recommended for 7+.