'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Review: Girl on Wire

A girl stands on the edge of a building as a dark storm approaches.

She’s afraid, but she steps out onto a wire and slowly begins to walk across a giant void.

The storm rages around her, and her fear grows. But a voice calls to her, reassuring her she is strong and she can make it.

Girl on Wire is one of those powerful, mesmerising picture books that travels deep into your heart and lingers there.

It is one of those magical picture books with hidden and multiple meanings that spark different thoughts and different ideas for different readers. 

On the face of it, the story is about a girl walking a wire from one building to another, but there is so much more within the narrative.

So much more.

For me, the story is about finding courage when your world is falling apart around you. It represents a child having to face difficulties children should never have to face, and somehow finding the courage to keep going. It’s about walking bravely back into a world that is forever changed, even when that feels like walking a thin wire between two towering buildings. 

For me, the voice that calls to the girl, telling her she can do anything, belongs to her mother. Perhaps a mother who is no longer there in reality, but is a voice in the girl’s mind, giving her the courage she needs to walk forward. 

I have no idea if I’m right. I don’t know if this is what Lucy Estela intended for this powerful story, and I might never know.

But this is the beauty and power of story: that we can all interpret things differently. We can all connect differently with words.

And with illustrations.

Elise Hurst’s oil-painting illustrations in Girl on Wire are hauntingly beautiful. This is a book you open and never want to close. 

Every turn of the page is stunning. Magical. Hypnotising. Every illustration will hold you still, pull you into the book and never let you go. The girl becomes real. She’s alive on the pages. You connect with her emotionally, as if you were staring into a photograph.

I highly recommend you get a copy of Girl on Wire. It’s a picture book for everyone, regardless of age or genre preference. It’s a story that will enter your soul and remain there forever.

For more information about Lucy Estela, check out her answers to our 12 Curly Questions.

Title: Girl on Wire
Author: Lucy Estela
Illustrator: Elise Hurst
Publisher: Penguin, $24.99
Publication Date: 2 July 2018
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780143787167
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book