Balloons over Broadway
The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
By Melissa Sweet
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780547199450, 40pp.)
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
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2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
Winner of the 2012 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.
Like Tony Sarg, Melissa Sweet loved to figure out how to make things move as a child. (She even remembers taking apart her own marionettes to see how they worked!) Today, she still plays with simple materials to construct her brilliant mixed-media collage illustrations, for which she has won a Caldecott Honor and two New York Times Best Illustrated citations. About this book, she writes: "As I began to research Tony Sarg, I was especially curious how he went from illustration and puppetry to designing the huge parade balloons. After I spent five years reading everything I could find on him, the Macy’s parade, and puppetry—then traveling all over the map to talk to puppeteers—it seemed incredible that so few people knew of his work. I found him so inspiring, I wanted the whole world to know his story." For more information about the author and her work, visit www.melissasweet.net.
“Sweet’s brilliant combination of collage, design, illustration and text give Balloons Over Broadway an amazing richness. . . [no one] will ever see the parade in the same way.”—Pete Hamill in The New York Times Book Review
“It’s a history lesson, inventor's sketchbook, and inspirational story all rolled into one marvelous mixed-media masterpiece. Sweet's beautifully rendered true-life tale will have your child's imagination soaring to new heights!”—Education.com
"Sweet tells this slice of American history well, conveying both Sarg’s enthusiasm and joy in his work as well as the drama and excitement of the parade. . .This one should float off the shelves."—School Library Journal, starred review
“Tony Sarg, the man who invented the giant balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, has found a worthy biographer in Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The rush that comes from inspiration, the cliffhanger moments of creation, the sheer joy of building something and watching it delight the multitudes—Sweet captures it all in what is truly a story for all ages"—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This clever marriage of information and illustration soars high.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A joyous piece of nonfiction that informs and delights in equal parts.”—Booklist, starred review
"Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play."— Horn Book, starred review
"Sweet's artwork is as joyous an affair as its subject." --Bulletin