Sweet, Melissa . Balloons Over Broadway: The Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. Ill. Melissa Sweet Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011.
Age Range: 6-9 Lexile: 835
2012 Sibert Medal
2012 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children.
Every Thanksgiving, before the feasting on turkey and the trimmings, people of all ages wake up
to watch Macy's annual three hour parade of balloons, Broadway shows, and the big man himself, Santa Claus. But how did all begin? In Balloons over Broadway, learn about Tony Sarag, and how his famous balloons help to create an American tradition.
3. My Review
This is a really great book, especially because gives us a different look at Thanksgiving ( besides turkeys, pilgrims, and giving thanks.) What really surprised me was that the parade was created for their employees, particularly the immigrants unable to return home for the holidays (and that originally there were LIVE animals before Sarag, which the author playfully tells us "rhymes with aargh", created the upside-down marionettes.)
The most appealing aspect of Balloons is the artwork. Sweet uses uses colorful watercolor paintings, unique typography, mixed media collage and 3-D puppets based on Sarag's creations to bring the story to life. News clippings and additional information on Sarag ( including actual photos) also add to the book.
|Sarag's AHA moment, as seen through the illustrations of Melissa Sweet.|
|Sarag and one of his creations.|
Whether you've seen the parade once or a million times, Balloons over Broadway is a must read for one and all. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.
|By the way, Sweet designed the poster for the 2011 parade .|
|One of the many puppets you can create using the online activity kit ( see link here).|
4. Classroom Connections
- The book has an online activity kit, featuring masks and puppets based on Sweet's illustrations. Check it out (and one of the examples above).
- What would like to see in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade? Have children create their own floats, balloons, balloonicles( float/ balloon combos) using crayons, construction paper, whatever you have on hand.
- Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 28 at 9am on NBC. Or look for past clips on Youtube.
- Have children write or draw what they are most thankful for.
Here are two ideal websites related to the book-
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade- The parade's offical website. Features the history of the parade, games, merchaise, and this year's entertainment line-up ( which includes Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the men of Duck Dynasty.)
Melissa Sweet- Author's official website, featuring all her books, games, and more.
Looking for books on the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are some recommendations-
- Bleier, Edward. The Thanksgiving Ceremony: New Traditions for America's Family Feast. New York, N.Y. : Crown Publishers, c2003.
- Crane,Carol. P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet. Chelsea, Mich. : Sleeping Bear Press c2003.
- Heiligman, Deborah. Celebrate Thanksgiving. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, c2006.
- Mercer, Abbie. Happy Thanksgiving. New York : PowerKids Press, 2007.
- Waters, Kate. Giving Thanks: the 1621 Harvest Feast.New York : Scholastic Press, 2001.
Looking for more books on Thanksgiving? Here are some keywords to use in your library catalog:
Thanksgiving Day-Juvenile literature
Thanksgiving Day-History-Juvenile literature
Again, Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to all that read this blog!