Shoestring, the Boy Who Walks on Air (Julie Hunt, illus by Dale Newman)
The creators of the 2015 graphic novel KidGlovz reunite with this illustrated companion novel. KidGlovz told the tale of a young musician so prized that he lived the life of a prisoner—until he met the charming thief and tightrope walker Shoestring. In Shoestring, the Boy Who Walks on Air, the magical white gloves are back and the loyalty of the two friends is tested by new enemies and challenges. Julie Hunt’s storytelling is captivating; she creates dark-edged adventures with echoes of folklore. A colourful cast of characters and a vivid setting transport the reader into a world of circus, music and magic. Illustrator Dale Newman once again brings her unique style to this work, creating a visual narrative that provides another layer to the story, opening it up to a broader readership. The marriage of Hunt’s text and Newman’s images is comparable to the work of Brian Selznick. And while the novel can be read as a standalone, with an opening scene that revisits KidGlovz, it is best enjoyed alongside its companion. Suitable for readers aged 8–12, Shoestring, the Boy Who Walks on Air will introduce a new troupe of fans to Hunt and Newman’s work and will have those already familiar reaching for their copy of KidGlovz to re-read before embarking on the latest adventure.
M H Alessandrino is a Perth-based writer and freelance reviewer