Mordicai Gerstein, award-winning children’s author and illustrator, who wrote “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” dies at 83

Mordicai Gerstein, who wrote the Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, has died at the age of 83, reports Emily Langer for the Washington Post.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers tells the story of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.

Mr. Gerstein told Publishers Weekly, “I didn’t want to just tell the story of the walk — I wanted the book to be the walk between cardboard covers,” quoted him as saying. “I wanted this book to cause real vertigo, to put the reader, child or adult — and of course myself — on the wire.”

Though he did not begin his children’s book career until his 40s, Gerstein wrote and illustrated more than 40 books.

Describing The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, Mr. Gerstein once told the Boston Globe, “It’s almost a fairy tale. It’s a way to restore the towers to children whose only image of them is on fire. It shows them in another context — how big they were, and the space between them. I resurrect them in the mind.”

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