Thursday 19 July 2018

Girl on Wire

Girl on Wire by Lucy Estela, illustrated by Elise Hurst (Penguin Random House Australia) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9780143787167

Reviewed by Brook Tayla

This picture book is exquisite – delicate and graceful, yet piercingly intense. It tells the story of a young girl facing a personal inner turmoil. We don’t find out what that is for her, but we don’t need to know. Life puts us in the darkness in many ways during our life and when we are there in that dark place it is just dark, for whatever reason, and finding the way out is very often hard.  Not knowing the girl’s personal dilemma leaves the story open for our individual darkness’ – whatever they may be or have been.

‘Turning her face from the wind, she sees for the first time how high the wire is and how far she could fall.’

This book shows that we must be strong even though it appears too difficult and that we have a support network. The interpretation of this is also left open – the network could be your higher-self, or God, or a parent, or the community in which you live.  It’s the thing you grasp on to, to get you through, the hope that wants you to succeed.

‘She stands up, ignoring the storm still snapping at her ankles and raises her arms out wide again.’

Finally, the girl takes the steps that start her warrior heart beating, and begins the journey, step-by-step, that leads her out of the darkness. There isn’t a full resolution at the end, but she is moving ‘forward.’

The interplay of meaning painted on to each page, both in words and illustrations, will make you read this book over and over again – not to understand it but because it has touched your soul.

We are all ‘girl on a wire.’ This is an important story.

Brook Tayla writes a picture book review blog at and would love you to drop by, read some reviews, leave a comment and subscribe.  Brook also offers editing services for beginning and emerging writers.

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