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|King of the tightrope : when the Great Blondin ruled Niagara|
Author: Bowman, Donna Janell
In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man?
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2019 Philippe Petit isn’t the only daring French funambulist. Indeed, Jean-François Gravelet—or the Great Blondin, as he would later be known—defied gravity and expectations during the 1800s, most famously for walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Bowman leads up to this monumental feat by first describing Blondin’s childhood in the circus and the stunts he incorporated into his act to make it more challenging. The lifelike gouache-and-watercolor illustrations are rich with the drama and tension of Blondin’s performances, depicting him balancing on a chair, playing instruments, and even cooking an omelet while on his tightrope. Bowman conjures the sheer magnitude of his Niagara endeavor as she describes the calculations, equipment, and manpower needed to simply get Blondin’s rope from one shore to the other. And like the spectators there on June 30, 1859, readers will hold their breath as the Frenchman makes his legendary walk. She rounds out this daredevil’s biography with a time line and trivia. Source notes and extended content can be found on the author’s website. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.