Picture book Analysis
The Man Who Walked Between The Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
The big take away from Philippe's journey in accomplishing his dream was that if you are open minded and if you believe you can do anything you set your mind to, you will. This saying will motivate an individual throughout his/her life mentally and in society. The setting is clear if you knew some history about the two largest buildings in the world, the World Trade Center. The story yields in New York City in August around the 1970s. It is told in third person, as it refers to the two towers as "they" on the first page and Philippe is used promptly. Overall, the feel of the words that went along with images was calming and exciting. The books ends to commemorate the story that revolved around the man and the two towers.
The more wider the image was on the page the smaller the rope or wire really looked. This showed thinness, also compared to the bar the man holds, while tied at different ends. It was scary to think an object as slim as wire can hold anything. The bar he holds is much thicker to hold himself and his balance down showing strength. As time passed to come to Philippe's glorious moment to walk across the two largest building in the world, the author views this moment at the corner of one building to the other. The wire directly makes a diagonal line that express movement from one side to the other.
Since the story took place in a big city, the main shapes shown above and below the pages were squares and rectangles. This represents stability and conformity within homes and businesses. In the beginning of the story, however, Philippe juggles balls showing endlessness in a circle. And in his moments of truth across the wire, only the corners of the buildings would be shown. This created tension in something that was about to happen.
Lastly, the element color helped tell the story from the small to big moments. In the first few pages, green, yellow, orange, and blue associated mostly with the environment. The vivid nature around the character created a calm, warm, and happy place. When Philippe strikes up his idea to walk across the World Trade Center, him and authorities are surrounded by faded blues, blacks, and greys. The reader sense sadness in a broken cream and darkness from the authorities. The moment right away brightens again when Philippe plots a devious scheme to go for his dream. From when him and his friends set up the wire until the moment he starts walking to the very end, blue is the prominent color. Mostly because they are scurrying in the night mysteriously which makes the reader feel kind of gloomy or calm. Coming to the end of the book the blue becomes lighter and bits of yellow starts to break through. Which expresses happiness, contempt, and caution in the last few pages.
The Man Who Walked Between The Towers mostly expresses the artistic style surrealism. The author's intentions is to encourage creativity and imagination to connect similarities in the world to our idea of a dream reality. As read in this true story, Philippe Petit was destined and determined to do impossible things people wouldn't even consider actually doing. So as long as Philippe stayed on the wire he was free. This meaning behind this is that an individual can be free as long as they believe in themselves and the path they have chosen. The cartoon and sketch like drawings throughout the pages appeals to many younger readers. Cartoon art helps capture emotion and movement that makes readers feel something reading along with the book. It is also somewhat realistic because it takes place in a real city with a real story in the past. Artistic styles incorporate authentic thoughts and feelings into readers minds.
The use of artistic media in The Man Who Walked Between The Towers literally helps reader's eye glide through the pages. in any book process, pen sketches are made to bring ideas to paper. There are a lot of criss cross lines that fill in objects in the story. It adds shading and definition to the drawings. These leftover lines allowed the watercolor paint look to seep through them. The perspective of the reader never held still. Watercolors changed the mood of the story page to page. It starts out bright with vivid color such as orange, yellow, and green to capture lightness. Ending the book became gloomy filling in with colors like shades of grey, black, and blue. However, the bright and dark colors are mixed together to created a sense of content in the end. Even without words to describe the pictures, I believe the message can be easily depicted.
Philippe Petit's World Trade Center tightrope walk recreated itself into a remarkable motion picture called The Walk. Released recently to remember his extraordinary experience on those historical buildings.
Elements of Illustration
The elements of illustrations in this story are fairly similar but changes as you read further into the story. It combines images viewed as one big picture on one page and like a comic strip in the next. The pictures are framed with irregular lines to that feels more freely rather than straight and stiff. Irregular lines helps describe the main character as free and spunky. The words and pictures are a symmetrical interaction that tells the story in chronological order. The arrangement of the words and images can differ from above to below, in between, or within. How spacious the words and images are give time for readers to analyze what they have just read and relate it to what is being shown. This conveys the contradictory interaction in some parts of the book.
Interplay of Text and Illustrations
As said in "Elements of Illustration," the text and illustrations don't stray from the story both are trying to convey. The tools literary elements (character, plot, settings, theme, tone), physical elements, and visual elements (lines, color, shapes/patterns) collaborate together to create a connection in some way to the reader. Images alone can make a reader come up with his/her own story for them. A famous saying that goes for all artists, writers, illustrators, and others that "a picture is worth a thousand words."
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