Balanced City: Mirette on the High Wire

Mirette on the High WireMom says:
In Mirette on the High Wire, the Great Bellini, a high-wire performer, has lost his courage to walk the wire. By contrast, the young Mirette becomes fascinated by the wire and takes every spare moment to practice. A friendship between the old funambulist (There's a new word for you!) and the young one forms and Bellini confesses his fear to Mirette. When Bellini decides to face his fear and perform again, he finds out too late that he is not quite ready. It takes an act of courage by Mirette to help Bellini find his former strength.  This book resonated on many levels for me: it has a heroine, it is a tale of courage, friendship and perseverance and there are some great button-up boots!

The hustle and bustle of late 19th century Paris forms an excellent backdrop to this story. The urban setting provides the necessary crowds of spectators for the final scene and of course there is something exhilarating about being able to rise above the surge of people and tangle of city building.

Emily Arnold McCully's Caldecott Award winning illustrations reminded me a bit of Toulouse-Lautrec and his vibrant Parisian world of entertainment.

Big Kid says: That looks dangerous.

Want more high wire action? Try Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagara Falls, and The Man Who Walked between the Towers.


Lindsay N. Currie said...

Ah, this sounds like a unique book. What is the reading level of it?? I'd be curious as to whether or not my 1st grader would have an easy time with it or if it would be better as a read-aloud on my part.

Terry Doherty said...

Thanks for my "learn something new" today ... funambulist. What a funny word for a terrifying act!

This one goes in the Wish List pile!

Callie Feyen said...

Those ARE great boots!
Great post. I think my oldest would like this one.

Raising a Happy Child said...

For some reason I read "great button-up boobs" and had to go back and reread the sentence. I love books that are set in Paris, one day I will definitely go back there.

melanie said...

This sounds like an awesome book! Funambulism (thanks for the new word!), great boots, late 19th century Paris, bravery--lots of interesting things here. And I agree with Big Kid: that looks dangerous.

Thanks for sharing!

Alex said...

Thanks for the fun new word. This sounds interesting. Maaybe I should read it myself - I used to loved flying and one day, suddenly it scared me and I have had a fear of flying ever since.
Maybe some kid's books are for teaching grownups a few new tricks, too.

Fanny Harville said...

This is one of our all-time favorites! A couple years ago, my son was totally obsessed with this book.

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